So back to Trentham to see how good this wonderful garden is throughout the year. Because of preparing for the first ever opening of our garden we will have to join July and August together and do just this one post. From past experience of visiting in late summer we had high expectations. We expected the River of Grasses to have grown tall and be flowering profusely and for the herbaceous perennials to be full of colour, texture and structure. So let’s have a wander to see what is going on.
We entered the gardens over the little curved bridge over the River Trent and got our first look over the Piet Oudolf gardens. The River of Grasses was showing stress after the strange weather so far in 2014, with the grasses only looking half grown and showing no signs of flowering.
Taking the gravel path through the winding row of River Birches we were amazed by views of Oudolf’s prairie planting. After the restful green shades of the River of Grasss there was suddenly so much colour! The planting combinations worked together showing great use of contrasting colours and textures.
Persicaria, Eupatorium, Echinacea, Monarda, Sedum and Sanguisorba were star performers. But there was lots more to appreciate too!
We were sad to leave this area with its gentle atmosphere and some of the best plant combinations you can find anywhere in England. But we were here on a mission, seeking out the changes since our June visit. So off we went to the bit of Trentham we don’t like, the Italian Garden with its gaudy bedding plants. But it is part of the story so I took a few pics of the bedding. Below the balustrading the narrow border was much better with its Aeoniums, Kniphofias and Dahlias. At this time the drizzle started to fall and as usual we got our Trentham soaking.
From the balustrade we got our first views of Tom Stuart-Smith’s redesigned Italian parterre garden. The garden seemed gentler in colour on this visit with a concentration of greens and yellows with clusters of mauves and purples.
Any red or orange looked stunning in this company of course, especially the Heleniums and Crocosmias, with an odd surprise Hemerocalis thrown in for added interest.
As usual the corner beds looked great encouraging the visitor to explore further. We certainly enjoyed them as we moved on towards the display gardens.
Within the display gardens there were several little areas of interest, such as this old fence leaning on the ivy-covered wall and the delicate pink planting.
As usual we made our way back to the car via the Rose Walk, where our senses were invaded.
This piece of sculpture created by Mother Nature stopped us in our tracks – never before had we seen Foxtail Lilies looking quite like this with their towering stems dotted with marble-sized seeds affording a are glimpse of its unusual structural qualities.
From the Rose walk we glanced across through the wrought iron supports to Piet Oudolf’s River of Grasses and his Prairie plantings.
Trentham never lets us down. We were expecting to see big changes and lots of colour on this visit and we were not disappointed, except for the River of Grasses where the grasses seemed small and lacking in flowers just like ours at home. The weather this year has a lot to answer for! So next visit will be in September when once again we will go with great expectations and full of excited anticipation.