A Visit to a Cotswold Garden

The Blue Tulip Garden Design team (AKA me and hubby), took our annual pilgrimage to an inspirational garden last weekend. A short trip to the Cotswolds to visit Kiftsgate Court Gardens, and just across the road, quite literally, Hidcote Manor Garden.

A Garden of Rooms

What strikes you most is how each garden has been designed on the basic principle of a series of rooms. The garden visitor is guided through a maze of narrow pathways and secret gardens, each with its own character, some formal, some informal. This is an ideal way to create interest within a large garden, and encourages the visitor to explore further

Some rooms are revealed only once you enter through a defined ‘doorway’ such as a well-trimmed hedge. Some encourage you to linger with seating provided and others, it’s a quick march through to the next.

The Use of Water

Both gardens have used water features in very striking ways. Kiftsgate has a pool with a tremendous view across the Cotswold countryside with the hills of Malvern in the far distance. It was once a swimming pool, as was a raised circular pool at Hidcote.

One of the most recognisable water gardens in the UK can be found in an enclosed area at Kiftsgate. Once an old tennis court, a stunning reflective pool has been installed, a striking contrast to the abundance and colour elsewhere.


Empty space is as important as exciting plant filled borders. The use of water helps to create a space for quiet contemplation.  Unless you are surrounded by a coach load of other garden visitors of course!)


A nice touch in each garden is the introduction of informal spaces full of wildflowers. I think everyone should have some!


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