So here we are on our April visit to the gardens at Trentham, already the fourth in this series of posts looking at Trentham Gardens throughout the year.
We immediately notice that the fresh growth of Spring is well underway. The grasses in the River of Grasses are no longer brown and dead but putting on strong bright green growth. The herbaceous growth huddled in the grasses is looking vigorous with Trollius adding splashes of gold. Euphorbias look vibrant under the river of birches. Leaf buds are bursting on all the deciduous trees.
As we move into Piet Oudolf’s perennial prairie plantings some plants are well into growth where others have barely started. Thalictrum and Amsonias are looking particularly vibrant.
Leaving the Prairie area we immediately notice that the Hornbeam arbor has grown vigorously and is now looking like a big shaggy sheep. The bench is a great place to get a shaded, secret, quiet moment. The arbor looks like it could get up and walk away!
As you may remember from our earlier visits we move through grassed areas with shrub borders towards the Italian Garden, passing through an avenue of Hornbeam on the way. The tulips in this part of the garden are nothing short of startling! We are not sure at all of some of the colour combinations but they are definitely cheerful.
From here we take our usual look over Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden where bursts of colour mostly oranges and blues greet us. When we get closer we realise they are the colour is provided by Camassias and various Euphorbias.
Let us now have a closer look at some of the individual plants of interest.
Firstly the strange Primula like flowers of Dalmera peltata looking like pink lollypops on tall sticks. The flowers come before there is any sign of the leaves and the flower stem appears out of the rizomes which sit right on the surface of the soil. The leaves when they do appear are equally dramatic – big circular leaves held right off the ground.
The flower shoots of Eremurus robustus, the Fox Tail Lily are appearing at the base of the whorl of leaves. These were the mystery leaves in last month’s visit. The grey-pink blooms of the Giant Red Deadnettle, Lamium orvala wrap themselves right up the stems between the leaf clusters.
The yellow pea flowers of the Thermopsis montana, variously known as False Lupin, Golden Pea, Revonpapu and so on, are just freshly out and blend nicely with the silvery green leaves.
As we leave the Tom Stuart-Smith gardens we notice, as we follow the gravel pathway to the display gardens, that the daffodils in colour on our last visit are still presenting a haze of yellow.
On our return journey through the garden we notice the newly emerging flower bud of this Allium, sitting like a table tennis ball in the centre of the three leaves. The fresh leaves on a deciduous tree stand out in sharp contrast to the dullness of its evergreen companion even in dull light.
Tulips adorn the Rose Walk where the roses are budding strongly. From here we can look back on the team of gardeners beavering away heads down in their waterproof jackets.
Looking through the rose pergola we can see the green growth in the River of Grasses. Alongside this path Corydalis is flowering at ground level whereas at a higher level the red leaves of the Acer manage to look cheerful in the rain.
So we leave Trentham in the rain yet again and look forward to our May visit when maybe we will see a little sunshine and a blue sky!