A Garden in May – Trentham

Here we are with post number 5 of this series looking at the gardens at Trentham where we are trying to discover if Trentham really is a “garden of all seasons”. For our May visit we were hoping for better weather as rain has greeted us on every other visit. It may seem a bit late to be posting this post but we have been so busy getting our garden ready for our summer visitors and the allotment community gardens ready for our NGS Open Day we are now behind with everything. We are getting behind at being late!

But the day dawned wet yet again.

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We were amazed by the number of people around and the queue of visitors waiting to get through the turn styles. The majority of these visitors were young families. Soon we saw clues about what was going on – balloons, bunting and banners. It all pointed to the day being a special one for Trentham Gardens – their 10th birthday since reopening.

The area called the River of Grasses designed by Piet Oudolf has gained a lot of patches of colour from perennials among the strongly growing grasses. Persicaria bistorta, Amsonia and Trollius were particularly in evidence.

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When we moved into the Piet Oudolf prairie borders we noticed that the growth of the herbaceous plants since out last visits was amazing.

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After enjoying the fresh colours in this area we wandered across neatly mown grass towards the Italianate Garden, and on the way we passed the Hornbeam Arbour and through a Hornbeam archway. We found evidence of the newly cut area where seagulls of crocus and snowdrops were earlier in the year (see earlier posts in this series). Now they appear as ghosts in the grass.

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In the Italianate Garden the gardeners were planting out large specimens of Cannas with huge incredibly marked and coloured leaves.

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From the Italianate Garden we get our first views of the garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, where he imposed modern style herbaceous plantings onto the original Italian Garden. Since last month these borders are showing so much colour and to begin with it is hard to identify what plants are providing all the colour.

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Closer up we found the colour was from Alliums, Euphorbias, Amsonias, Irises, Rogersias and Astrantias. Enjoy a tour of these borders.

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Last time we were here the gardens above the Tom Stuart-Smith borders was yellow with daffodils naturalised in the grassed banks. On this visit the colour was purple and it was provided by hundreds of purple globes of Alliums. A young photographer was snapping away.

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A new woven figure has appeared on the grassed banks.

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More Alliums were naturalised in the grass beneath the mature trees from the otiginal parkland plantings. They added colour to our walk over to look at the Display Gardens.

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Here the newly planted gardens were taking shape.

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As always our wanderings around the gardens at Trentham finish with a walk along the Rose Walkway. Yet more Alliums grew here in between the roses.

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Wisterias were flowering as they climbed over the metalwork and added colour and scent to our walk.

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We came across this pink flowered shrub which although we had seen it before we could not remember what it was. It was a beautiful shrub. Any ideas?

I finish our May wander of this amazing garden with a few views from the rose walk looking over the River of Grasses.

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Published by greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

3 replies on “A Garden in May – Trentham”

  1. I’ ve never been to Trentham Gardens, thank you for the tour, it looks well worth the visit. I went to a Garden Literary Festival last June in Tom Stuart Smith’s garden, he does have some wonderful design ideas.
    The shrub is Neillia thibetica.

  2. Many thanks for letting me know the name of that shrub. We saw it elsewhere a few years ago and were most impressed with it. We are off to Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden in a few weeks time – really looking forward to it. Malc

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