Staffordshire is the home to some of the most interesting and beautiful gardens in the U.K. including gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown who changed the face of eighteenth century England. 2016 sees the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of ‘Capability’ Brown and listed below are some of Staffordshire’s garden highlights including some which Capability Brown designed!
The gardens are located at The Trentham Estate. You can enjoy the splendour of the Italian Garden, with its contemporary design by Tom Stuart-Smith, grand Italianate parterres, fountains, trellis walkway and David Austin Rose border. Trentham is currently creating a lasting landscape legacy to ‘Capability’ Brown in the run up to 2016, revitalising Brown’s influence at Trentham in time for the 300 year celebration. You can also meander the Floral Labyrinth and Rivers of Grass by pre-eminent Dutch designer Piet Oudolf – a distinctive fresh, floral prairie and vast naturalistic meadow. Be inspired by the show gardens including award-winning gardens from RHS Chelsea and RHS Tatton Flower Show. Take a woodland walk round around the mile-long lake, and see if you can spot our enchanting fairies. Get active in the adventure playground, get lost in the hide and speak maze. In spring and summer you can steam along the lakeside astride the miniature train, set sail on the electric catamaran or get naked from the knees down and tantalise your toes on the UK’s first Barefoot walk.
The stunning 19th century Grade One listed gardens feature a large herbaceous border, Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Excellent daffodil display. In late spring, enjoy the bluebell displays and 100-year-old Chinese Wisteria adorning the servants’ quarters.
In summer, formal Terraces framed by lavender and calendula. Beautiful ‘butterfly garden’; comprising blocks of herbaceous plants attractive to bees and butterflies. The estate is set in swathes of lush green parkland and historic woodlands with several walks and trails. Grade One listed formal gardens filled with English lavender and Bright Smile roses frame a perfect riverside setting.
The Wolseley Centre
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s HQ, the Wolseley Centre, is one of the county’s hidden gems and it’s completely free to visit. There is 26 acres of beautiful grounds to explore, which are full of interesting features and wildlife-friendly display gardens. A network of accessible footpaths weave around the grounds – ideal for pushchairs, wheelchairs and little feet! Feed the ducks or take a picnic beside our three lakes or search for colourful dragonflies and the bright blue flash of kingfishers as you stroll alongside the river.
The Dorothy Clive Garden
The 12 acre hillside garden is intimate, informal and inspiring. Located in the woodland quarter of Staffordshire close to both the Shropshire and the Cheshire borders, this lovely garden has delights and surprises whatever the season.
There are many areas of diverse interest and these include a new winter garden, an edible woodland, a woodland quarry with waterfall, an alpine scree and pool, rose walk and amazing seasonal borders.
Additionally the garden has a delightful tearoom with stunning view and several notable collections of plants including: rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, sarcococca and hydrangeas.
A delightful Victorian garden created by James Bateman for his collection of plants from around the world. A visit takes you on a global journey from Italy to the pyramids of Egypt, a Victorian vision of China and a re-creation of a Himalayan glen.
The garden features collections of rhododendrons, summer bedding displays, a stunning dahlia walk in late summer and the oldest surviving golden larch in Britain, brought from China in the 1850s.
The Geological Gallery shows how Bateman reconciled geology and theology.