A small group from the club visited these gardens yesterday morning and had a guided tour with the head gardener. Although the autumn colour was wonderful in places, heavy rain curtailed our visit and meant that we did not see all of the gardens.
The gardens are Grade 1 listed, and have been open since 1935. They stand next to historic Stoke Park, and St Giles Church (the inspiration for Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ composed in 1750). Designed by Edward White, a leading landscape architect of the 1930’s, the gardens took 5 years to complete, and restoration work was carried out in 2001-2004. They comprise formal planting, woodlands, pools, fountains, rills, parterres, a rockery and a wisteria pergola.