A carpet of crocus at Trentham Gardens

March Gardens Blog

Spring has slowly arrived at Trentham! Scillas, Crocuses and Daffodils are all starting to open and provide some much-needed early food for the bees, and splashes of colour for our gardeners and visitors.

We’ve been using composted bark as a nice thick mulch to smarten up the beds in the Italian Garden, Rivers of Grass and Floral Labyrinth.  This will set off the plants as they start to grow in the (hopefully!) warmer conditions, suppress weeds and help to conserve moisture in the soil from the winter rains.  We’ve had lots of help in this from our amazing volunteers, who have all helped to barrow and rake from many trailer loads of mulch.

The woodland team have had a busy spring adding new plantings, with a stunning nuttery of multi stemmed Corylus avellana (hazel) planted in a grid formation along the western edge of the lakeside walk.  A new meadow scheme is in the pipework, with plans for a combination including Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, sweet Violets and Oxlips (Primula elatior) and the native ‘Hart’s tongue’ fern, to add further interest to this beautiful, more naturalistic part of the estate.  There are also new plantings of Hydrangeas, shrub roses and Philadelphus.  The magnolias that were planted earlier in the year are starting to break from their soft, furry buds, and we’re looking forward to seeing them flower very soon!

With several kilometres of edging, the Italian Garden team have been busy smartening up the edges of the beds, and it won’t be long before we begin our first mow of the season.  Planning and preparation is key to the long-term success of any garden, and some of the trainees have been helping to plan a new bedding scheme for spring 2019.  It’s an interesting challenge, involving thinking about colour and texture combinations, as well as heights and spacing of the chosen plants, so watch this space!

Have you spotted the beautiful swathe of Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’ next to the loggia in the Italian Garden?  Donated by the local Rotary Club, these were planted by the garden trainees back in October, and they did a great job.  On sunny days the flowers open fully in the light, a sign that spring is, at last, finally here!

Tips for the March garden:

  • Mulch bare soil in beds and borders
  • Begin sowing hardy veg outside, and harden off young plants to put outside
  • Re-seed any bare patches of grass
  • Plant early potatoes and asparagus