The Gardens at Miserden

Miserden is a village located just outside of my hometown, Stroud in Gloucestershire. It is home to a grand house with a large and impressive garden that dates back to the 1620s. We spent a sunny April afternoon exploring the garden.

As you enter the garden through grand gates and walk through the start of the arboretum and gravel paths direct you to the walled garden which is sliced in two by a large yew topiary walk.

The long walk was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The walkway creates a rigid and formal feeling which contrasts its rolling Cotswold setting. It would appear that the yew has recently had a fairly major chop but younger trees are waiting, ready to take over.

Beyond the walled garden we reach the house through three paved terraces. At the top there is an octagonal summerhouse with a rill. Just before the terrace ends there are pleached limes before the height is made up with a dry stone wall. 

The large house is fronted by a hard surface but beyond a small wall and large yew topiary it looks onto a large, well kept lawn which has been landscaped to form three levels. To resolve this change, informal steps have been cut into the land and reinforced with local stone. Over time these steps have merged into the garden and appear as if they have always been there.

Outside the front of the house a large magnolia has opened its flowers which look wonderful next to the soft limestone.

Further on in the garden we come across the arboretum with an impressive collection of different trees mostly Sorbus and Cornus. The trees were set in a peaceful meadow with clumps of daffodils and informal mown paths.

What particularly fascinated me, although not actually in the garden itself, was a row of three beech trees sat comfortably surrounded by lambs. The low crowns on the trees make me think that they were once pollarded, perhaps they mark something. The whole scene has a very typical Cotswold feel which is what I think of when I think of home.

There was a lot to take in from this garden which was boldly described as “one of the top ten most romantic gardens in the world” by Anna Pavord in Gardens Illustrated. Sadly, I didn’t take many more pictures to talk about. I must get better at that! One thing I wish I had thought to photograph was the ancient mulberry tree on the lawn but perhaps that is best to be seen in person.

We left the garden and enjoyed some food and drink in the lovely café and browsed the well-stocked nursery.

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