Gardens Update - March

Spring has certainly arrived at Trentham, with intense bursts of vibrant colour as we move into March. Arriving in the Italian Garden from the visitor centre will see you greeted with glowing banks of Narcissus tumbling down the hillside from the tea rooms in the distance.

You’ll notice some changes as you walk along past Perseus, as we’ve moved some of our benches forward to make use of the sweeping vista that looks out across the iconic lake and Italian Garden. Clusters of pots brimming with bright spring bedding and bulbs surround the seats, which aim to create seasonal colour right through until May.

As you take a stroll around the estate you’ll see drifts of Anemone nemorosa (Wood aneomone) adorning the spring meadow banks, vivid blue varieties of Scilla and Chionodoxa and dainty clumps of Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête’ in the Italian Garden and East Side. Our Cherry’s are starting to come into bloom too, with varieties such as Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ (Black cherry plum) in the Secret Garden providing visitors with a glowing display of striking pink flowers. See if you can spot some of our other cultivars in and around the show gardens and lake over the next few weeks.

Iris reticulata 'Pauline'

Pruning of our Taxus baccata (Yew) and Buxus sempervirens (Box) was completed in the Italian Gardens with the aid of a cherry picker. The large topiary structures had gotten quite tall and they were needing a trim to keep their uniform structure and the feel of formality in the Italian Garden. Elsewhere the rest of the team has been busy taking out pots for our spring bulb displays across Perseus walk, the rose border and upper flower garden. These are set to delight our visitors with dazzling displays of colour and texture. In the historic 1857 upper flower garden, we have a rustic cart displaying some of our pots and an Iris reticulata bench which show case an array of shimmering and delicate blooms. We’re welcoming our visitors to pause at these focal points to take photographs with the iconic structures of the old Orangery and Porte-cochère forming a back drop. The upper flower garden changes every day, with reliable spring bedding such as Polyanthus ‘Crescendo Wine’ showcasing vibrant colour and light scent on strong protruding stems. Erysium x marshalii ‘Golden Bedder’ (Wallflower) is a crowd pleaser too, this Siberian wallflower promises masses of varying orange shades in late spring, providing much needed nectar for early butterflies and moths. Keep visiting the upper flower garden as we continue through spring to see warm tones of red, orange and yellow to offer inspiration for your own garden!

Anemone blanda blue-flowered

Seed sowing has continued for our Eastern Pleasure Gardens team. After putting together an exciting and extensive list of plants for the Potager show garden they’ve had much to get on with. Many of the vegetable seeds are growing well now with a little greenhouse heat, such as the striped Tomato ‘Tigerella’ and the unusually coloured Brussel Sprout ‘Red Ball.’ The team are aiming for a vibrant display using flowers and vegetables to appeal to the whole family. They’ll use a hot colour palette to reflect the warmth of the summer (here’s hoping!) with a myriad of tones and shapes to engage with our younger visitors. The Rivers of Grass have had their annual trim, with the grass material being left on the surface to self-mulch the area. This method also helps to keep a natural feel with less definition between the clumps giving the appearance of flowing cascade. In the coming weeks we’ll see the vibrant green shoots appearing once more to give a striking impact as you enter the gardens. Chionodoxa sardenis (Lesser glory of the snow) is appearing now in royal blue waves throughout the Floral Labyrinth mixed with Anemone blanda blue-flowered (Wind flower) and Tulipa turkistanica (Turkestan tulip). The team has noticed that the flowering season has commenced at least 3 weeks earlier than last year, possibly due to the milder weather.

Woodland area

Up in the woodland area the spring meadow is beginning to live up to its name with Primula vulgaris (Primrose) and Primula elatior (Oxlip) providing bright contrasts against the forest floor. You’ll begin to notice contrasting types of foliage with varying colours of flower. Pulmonaria ‘Cotton Cool’ displays this effectively with its multi tonal flowers and arching variegated leaves. Sometimes you can stand in one spot for some time and notice many different things. The ‘wet flush’ area is alive with bright Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold) defining the margins of the marsh-like area. These cheery flowers belong to the buttercup family and you’ll see why when the light hits them. You can spot these near our Mushroom sculptures near the woodland entrance. Elsewhere cutting back and weeding has kept the team busy to keep the lakeside and woodland areas looking in tip top shape. Tree planting continued into March to expand and diversify the range of trees we grow. An additional 8 Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’ (Sweet Gum) have been added to bulk up the 70 planted last month. These are located at the end of the Magnolia glade to provide depth of colour and leaf texture through into autumn.

Spring Bulb Festival

Visitors can take advantage of our spring displays combined with our bulb festival commencing at the end of March through until May. We always love to see your photographs so please continue to share these using #trenthamestate #trenthamgardens for us all to enjoy.

Tips:

  • Mulch bare soil in beds
  • Begin sowing of hardy annuals
  • Weed vegetable seed beds
  • Erect plant supports before plants get too large
  • Deadhead Narcissus as the flowers fade to allow energy to focus on bulb for next year’s flower. Allow foliage to fade naturally.
  • Deadhead winter bedding such as Pansies to prevent plant from setting seed