August 24th 2018 My first stop on a 13 day, mostly horticultural, wandering in England was Trentham Gardens. It was not known to me until I searched for gardens in the West Midlands near to my T family in Knightley. After arriving in London the day before, finding my way to Euston as if it were my own home road, London seemingly never having left me or I her, I arrived at the station in Stafford to a carload of smiling lovelies carrying me back to little brick farmhouses, warm kitchens and cheese souffle Mrs Beaton would be proud of; the hearts indescribable. So happy to be home with them. I started laughing the moment I set foot in Staffordshire. Hm.. I wondered.. I don’t do that very much. Something is missing.
Next day morning, hens and horses fed, R. and I had a great day at Trentham, including the Pieminister and shopping for birthday presents in the shopping area that one must pass through, and most don’t by the few we saw inside, to get into the garden itself. I was fine with sharing the shops and not the garden. The weather was ideal; constantly changing.
We went to see the Piet Oudolf floral-labyrinth plantings and Tom Stuart Smith’s new design for the Italian partarre. First thought was that things had gotten moth-eaten but I was wrong. We just wandered, drifted along with the plantings; curves in the labyrinth, straights in the partarre. A lovely way to start my in-person introduction to the gardens of both of these planting designers. Sadly we missed Nigel Dunnett’s meadow and woodland completely as I had not realized they existed.
Both gardens were wonderful and fired my desire to get into the ground and really start growing and planting again; just as I had hoped they would do. I was there to be changed, my eyes reopened and my passion for plants and planting nurtured.
Here are a bunch of photos to tell the story much better than I can.