What’s new at Trentham Gardens?

You cannot be real! Giant Stag beetle carved by Andy Burgess
You cannot be real! Giant Stag beetle carved by Andy Burgess
Visitors returning to Trentham Gardens this spring are in for a few surprises, Amanda Dawson, Marketing Manager at Trentham told the Gazette in early February.

Over the winter, the estate embarked upon a project aimed at rediscovering Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s lost landscape at Trentham Gardens. Brown was employed here from 1759 to 1780, and his work included extending the mile-long lake, the landscaping of the surrounding parklands and – in league with his son-in-law Henry Holland – he had a hand in enlarging and improving Trentham Hall. The Trentham Estate will play a significant role in the national celebration of Brown’s tercentenary in 2016.

Going with the flow: otter sculpture by Andy Burgess
Going with the flow: otter sculpture by Andy Burgess

A scheme to reveal and enhance Brown’s work at Trentham Gardens has already started to take shape, and will continue to develop through 2016 and beyond. The connection between the west shore of the lake and Brown’s parkland beyond has been reinstated, revealing ancient trees dating to Brown’s era and splendid Victorian redwoods. Estate fencing now marks the line of a former ha-ha and there are plans to reintroduce cattle to the historic parkland.

Bobbing along: willow robin by Eddie Glew
Bobbing along: willow robin by Eddie Glew

In addition, views of the lake and the walk around it have been enhanced by nature-themed sculptures made from natural materials.  Two sawn-off tree stumps inspired woodcarver Andy Burgess to create “The Diving Otters” and “Stag Beetles” using chainsaws and power tools.

Around the tearoom, Rugeley-based Eddie Glew’s giant willow snowdrops have sprung up. Indeed, the real snowdrops, aconites and hellebores have already delighted visitors over winter, the crocus are in bloom, the daffodils are about to flower, with the tulips and alliums continuing the display as spring returns.

How’s that for size? A giant snowdrop by Eddie Glew
How’s that for size? A giant snowdrop by Eddie Glew

The Trentham garden team are eagerly anticipating the results of their winter labours, particularly seeing the 80,000 bulbs they planted by hand last November and December come into flower in the new spring scheme in the Eastern Pleasure Garden.