Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Garden Visit: Dan Pearson’s Old Rectory


Garden Visit: Dan Pearson’s Old Rectory

March 23, 2015

Of all the old rectories and vicarages in the Cotswolds, the one with the garden by Dan Pearson is the standout. There is still scope for proper tea on the lawn, but Pearson has achieved a more relaxed formality by mixing new structures of local stone with soft-hued plants that perform over a long season.

Photography by Nicola Browne and Dan Pearson Studio.


Above: The old rectory’s one-acre garden is near the heart of the village. The honey-colored house is anchored to the garden through its hardscaping and formal design elements including platforms of boxwood.

Dan Pearson works on private and public spaces around the world, notably a forest in Japan which aims to be sustainable for the next 1,000 years. He has also been chosen to design the plantings for a new garden bridge spanning the River Thames in London.


Above: Panels of wildflower meadow divide up the lawn, requiring skilled maintenance by the two gardeners who work here part-time. As a designer, Pearson’s relationship with clients involves some hand-holding, and the process of establishing a meadow can be particularly nerve-wracking for all parties. A perennial meadow takes at least a couple of years to settle in and for a suitable mowing regime to be established. Included here: Ox-eye daisy and pale purple Greater Knapweed.


Above: “I use a small planting palette,” says Dan Pearson, referring to the different sections of the garden. “It’s pared right down so you get part of the picture.” This part, surrounding the main lawn, includes the mauve seed heads of Calamagrostis x acutifolia ‘Karl Foerster’ and violet shades of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Lavendelturm.’ In the foreground: fuzzy gray and purple Lambs Ears (Stachys byzantina) with magenta Lychnis coronaria. Plantings of hot colors are in walled areas of the garden.


Above: Dry stone walls use material that is both new and reclaimed from the local quarry. Surrounding a simple canal flanked by sawn stone paving, the walls are broken up with narrow slits for glimpses of the garden beyond. Hardscaping construction was carried out by the building stars of the Chelsea Flower Show, Swatton Landscape.


Above: The property is bordered on one side by the River Windrush. Water features three times in this garden: as a reflecting pool (Above), a low-key swimming pool on the lawn, and the canal.


Above: Dan Pearson describes his approach as “relaxed and naturalistic.” Here, alpine strawberries spread around stepping stones, accompanied by white astrantia and clouds of umbels.


Above: Roses round the door of the old rectory, with elements of formality in the slightly shaggy boxwoods.

For more modern English gardens, see:

For more from this corner of the world, see Industrial Lighting from the Edge of the Cotswolds on Remodelista.

For a mobile-first version of this post, check out this content as a web story, or browse all our web stories.

(Visited 2,104 times, 4 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation