Sunday, 5 February 2012

Painswick Rococo Garden visited on 2/02/2012

Looking across the Kitchen Garden to the Exedra Gothic feature.
Rococo Gardens are generally associated with France and Italy. However, the style did travel to England, and the only complete Rococo Garden surviving is in the Cotswold's at Painswick.The garden dates from the mid 18th century when gardens were being created almost as theatrical sets into which period gentlefolk would take their house guests. They were designed as pleasure grounds, with surprises and flamboyant eccentricities at every turn. These were not the gardens of great plant collectors but more of the decadent and fun-loving side of society.The great French and Italian gardens were filled with pavilions, fountains, and flights of steps cascading with water. Some of the gardens created used bizarre and extravagant ideas such as large and elaborate  fantastasy Grottoes decorated with rocaille worked figures (made out of shells). However, they did fuel a fleeting craze in England. The English gardens which, although never as grand as their European cousins, showcased their often ostentatious owners wealth. Modern eyes, which are familiar with the great herbaceous borders, vivid planting schemes and arboretums of the 19th and 20th century, sometimes struggle to understand a Rococo Garden. These mid 18th century gardens are not about collections of plants but rather a place where plants become part of the furnishings of a gilded and rather flamboyant outdoor room in which to entertain. Perhaps most important was the creation of vistas and intersections, not directed exclusively to one particular point in the scheme but rather intended to lead the eye in various directions from the surrounding landscape to follies, statuary and water features.
The asymmetrical Red House
The Beech Walk leading to the Exedra
Looking through the Gothic arches across the round pool towards the Kitchen Garden
View to the Exedra with its Gothic arches over the maize. The maize is not an original feature of the garden, but planted in 1998 to celebrate a painting done of the garden by Thomas Robins in 1748. The painting was invaluable during the restoration of the garden, along with archaeological evidence unearthed during the course of the restoration.  
 
The maize reads 250 representing the 250 years since the painting of the garden was done.
The empty pedestals have pots of flowers on them in the Summer. The wire netting is to keep the rabbits out!
The Kitchen Garden - rather sparse in February!
The Spring fed Plunge Pool - said to be chilly all year round.
Seating folly - a touch of rustic Palladio 
The fish pond looking towards the Exedra and the Red House leading the eye into the surrounding landscape. The pond is wearing a thin layer of ice.
Arched walkway to the ancient woods.
The pink Eagle House
Inside the Bothy
The Red House from the top path.
The vista from the Red House, looking out into the surrounding landscape beyond.  
A few winter flowers showing in the garden.
Aconites
Cyclamen
Snowdrops
In architecture, an Exedra is a semi-circular recess, often crowned by a semi-dome, which is usually set into a building's facade. The original Greek sense (a seat out of doors) was applied to a room that opened on to a Stoa, ringed with curved high-backed stone benches, a suitable place for a philosophical conversation. An Exedra may also be expressed by a curved break in a colonnade, perhaps with a semi-circular seat.
A Stoa is another Greek architectural term meaning a safe, protective place where people can gather.

20 comments:

  1. A lovely, very informative post. Thank you! Beautiful images... didn't know that Rococo` extended to gardens: I have seen Italian sanken gardens, but never Rococo`.

    I love Rococo`, in general, and usually associate it with Venice. To some, it translates as: bad taste. I, as an Italian, think that Rococo` means different, eccentric, over the top and therefore: beautiful and very, very Italian!

    Have you seen the Palazzo Reale at Caserta, Italy? It's right across the street from the station in Caserta. It has to be one of the most beautiful Royal Palaces in Europe (yes... we used to be a monarchy!) The Kings and The Queen are buried in the Pantheon, Rome. Worth a visit!

    CIAO

    ANNA
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anna - I am pleased you enjoyed the post, and unfortunately I have not been to Palazzo Reale, somewhere that I would love to visit. I shall make a mental note to myself.
      I have been to the Pantheon which I wrote about in my post on Domes, which is on my 'Popular Post' site.
      Take care and Ciao

      Delete
  2. Beautiful, especially the Red House and the Gothic arches. Visit it again in summer and take some more images please. Lovely post Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Olive - I am so pleased that you enjoyed seeing the garden. It was a glorious day when I visited, cold but brilliant sunshine and blue skies, makes all of the difference. Yes, a trip back in the summer would be good, see what I can manage!

      Delete
  3. One does not expect to see a Gothic exedra, but there it is, and I think it's stunning. But the Palladian seating folly is what I would covet for my own house — I can imagine the pleasure of sitting there and meditating, or having a very private conversation ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mark - The Exedra is rather splendid, being so white is stands out rather like a crown to the garden. I should have taken some internal shots of the follies with their stained glass, but my hands were getting rather cold.

      Delete
  4. Happy to find your Blog today. So wonderful your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Keity - I am pleased that you enjoyed the pictures - do call in again.

      Delete
  5. Lots of information to take in. Love the garden photographs but I have to admit that my heart stoped at the Inside the Bothy photos... I enjoy travelling with you in your gorgeous country Rosemary : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Demie - glad to have you travelling with me. The Bothy was lovely, full of trays of apples and pears, the smell was delicious.

      Delete
  6. Hello Rosemary:
    The Rococo garden is splendid and you have captured it brilliantly with these stunning photographs.

    We have always been beguiled by the idea of pleasure gardens. Travelling around them in an open carriage, stopping off to be delighted or play amongst the follies en-route really appeals to us!! Have you been to Biddulph and Rousham, they are amongst our favourites?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jane and Lance what a lovely image you create, travelling around in an open carriage, playing amongst the follies, ah! the delights we could all have enjoyed in the 18th century.
      I have been to Biddulph but not to Rousham, which is on my list 'to do' - it is not too far from here.

      Delete
  7. I really enjoyed reading your blog today Rosemary.. Such beautiful places to visit in England. Your photos are fantastic.
    One can just imagine the Gentry meandering through the gardens on a sunny sunday.
    lots of secret hiding places.
    Thank you rosemary.. i learnt a few things today, I didnt know about.

    val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Val - That is what I like about looking at blogs, learning something I didn't know about before from all of my blogging friends. Pleased you enjoyed the post and photos. Yes, you can imagine the Gentry wandering through the gardens, and as you say lots of hiding places!!!

      Delete
  8. What a beautiful place and a very beautiful set of pictures. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Fotokarusellen - yes, you are right it is a beautiful garden, and I was fortunate in that I picked the perfect day to visit with glorious February sunshine.

      Delete
  9. What a fantastic garden you photographed here, even at this time of the year is beautiful.
    Have a lovely day
    Marijke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marijke - it is a lovely garden, and the snowdrops are a delight. I think that the blue skies also helped on the day I was there.

      Delete
  10. How lovely to view the garden again & remember our visit there several years ago. Thank you for capturing it so beautifully.
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I remember we went there together when the maize had just been planted, and now it is really mature.

      Delete

❖PLEASE NOTE❖ Comments made by those who hide their identity will be deleted

“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you - you have to go to them sometimes”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh