garden design garden designers garden photography gardens gardens open to the public outdoor sculpture Piet Oudolf Staffordshire Tom Stuart-Smith

Happy 10th Birthday Trentham

On our May visit to the gardens in Trentham which we are following this year in order to check it out as a “garden of all seasons” we were in for a surprise. Not only had the gardens blossomed since our April visit but we also arrived to discover that Trentham was celebrating its 10th birthday. So the gardens were full of excited visitors and extra attractions. Balloons and banners soon revealed why there seemed so many more people there than usual. We then realised we had chosen a great day to visit and also a great year to look at the gardens through the months in Greenbenchramblings posts.

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The photo above right shows the view across Piet Oudolf’s “River of Grasses” and in the background a stream of visitors passing through to reach the celebrations.

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We soon came across strange happenings whenever we turned a corner to enjoy the next section of the garden. The huge colourful butterfly and his friend the giant plant posed willingly for my camera.

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Around another corner we discovered a horse and cart passing by and a huge choir preparing to perform the “Happy Birthday song”.

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It wasn’t long before we glimpsed two giant gardeners and a strange statue.

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The statue wasn’t behaving how statues should. She didn’t just stand elegantly and sublimely for people to admire. She gave an occasional wink, a little smile or smirk at passers by, who were surprised and a few scared out of their skin. Some youngsters just were not sure what to make of her.

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Ten years ago the gardens were reborn and opened once again and two of Europe’s greatest garden designers, Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf were brought in to redesign great swathes of the old garden creating modern herbaceous plantings within the old parkland and Italian gardens. This juxtaposition of old and new has worked well as anyone who follows this blog will know from my many posts about the garden at Trentham but they also know how to proudly celebrate their birthday.

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After treating ourselves to a scone and a cup of tea we discovered a falconry display about to begin. We enjoyed a great display by owls, eagles and falcons.

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Children were engaged in many unusual activities. We were particularly taken with this idea. Making faces on the trunk of an old tree out of clay and collected natural objects.


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The last treat of our day was to listen to a few songs performed by a local brass band, who had polished their brass instruments and brushed up their uniforms.

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So there we have it – the 10 year birthday celebrations of the gardens at Trentham. Here’s to ten more!

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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.