Design, In the Garden, Travel Notes

The Garden at Miserden

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As I start prepping and planning for my springtime return to England, it occurred to me that I had not shared one of last spring’s gardens that well deserves a Private Newport post. So here ‘tis.

Another treasure of the Cotswolds, in Gloucestershire, the gardens at Miserden date back to 1620,  when the large Jacobean manor house was built. In 1919, architect Edwin Lutyens was retained to design a new east-facing wing, with an arched loggia. In an inspired gesture so typical of English gardens, these arches are replicated in the pair of yew hedges that run through the center of the breathtaking garden. This image makes me so aware, again, that it is hedges like these that create those exemplary garden rooms for which English landscapes are so well known. When I was strolling through these gardens, I was reminded of one of the first lessons I learned as a novice gardener — the power of evergreens to establish those “bones,” to provide structure to a plan that otherwise changes with the season’s flowering blooms.

The Arts and Crafts style of the Miserden gardens are impressively to be seen in the long (approximately 300 feet) herbaceous borders running down either side of a central lawn (on the southern side of the yew hedges).

Clematis, plume poppy, echinops, and stately spires of iris are just a few of the treasures to be found throughout the long growing season in this border.

In the four parterre beds on the north side of these hedges, a bounteous presentation, a veritable sea of alliums makes a late May statement…a perfect choice also for our feature image.

In celebration of the millennium, a summer house, stone rill, and fountain were constructed from reclaimed timber and stone from the estate…recycling at its finest!

Appropriately, this scene is to be found at the end of the yew walk, in the shadow of the house.

The Cotswold stone Jacobean house is massive as well as an exemplary piece of architecture, surviving nobly over the past 400 years. Stone steps and walls, here, as well as throughout the gardens, alluringly complete this idyllic picture.

Miserden has many acres on its elevated site with memorable views of the rolling Cotswold Hills. Exploring the arboretum of individually labelled trees is a tranquil route taking you to another view, the overlook of the valley, home to many deer.

Timeless. Gorgeous. Having changed sensitively over the years, Miserden has the feel of a private garden which just happens to be open to the public.

Be sure to include the Garden at Miserden on your next Cotswold trip.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

7 thoughts on “The Garden at Miserden

  1. Beautiful. Bettie, you’d love Hambleton Hall~the gardens, food and hospitality are unsurpassed. Not far from London. Hope you will have an opportunity to visit.

    A LA THE ‘BRITS’ … ‘CARRY – ON!’

  3. I love all these garden ideas!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!
    In the US…. Where can we buy your black iron obelisks???? Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you, Sally, I had the spear iron obelisks (in the Cutting Garden) made at a local blacksmith’s. xB

  4. I love boxwoods and trees for landscaping. This garden is beautiful. If I had lots of land I would have flower gardens at back. I don’t like seeing flower gardens when it’s dormant. Especially in front or side landscaping.

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