Another day out with my gardening buddy, A...this time to Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire...and the weather was awful; cold, wet and grey! But we had a really enjoyable day, though I should say that we spent most of our time having morning coffee - whilst waiting for the rain to ease - and eating a late lunch - to warm up after our walk around the gardens.
I did however manage to take a few photos which have turned out better than I expected and even though we're close to the middle of October I think the gardens were well worth the visit. Due to the weather we didn't wander too far around the park but stuck with the Piet Oudolf prairie plantings on the Eastern Pleasure Ground and the Italian Garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith, leading down to the lake.
The prairie planting was astonishingly beautiful even though most of the plants were past their prime, the drying flower heads of eupatorium and coneflower combined with the wafting seed heads of the grasses and the mass planting of sedums and asters was a joy to behold even on this greyest of days. The planting snakes around the pleasure ground with closely cut grass paths between the planting - I'm going to have to go back next year probably at the end of August to see more of the plants in bloom, but I'm glad to have seen this autumnal sight.
The Italian Garden by contrast is very formal, and in its own way lovely, but not so much my cup of tea, though I can appreciate the work that's gone in to creating such a garden.
At the foot of the Italian Garden is the magnificent lake and it is possible to walk around the lake through the woodlands; though we did not take this opportunity on this visit, too cold and wet for us.
I'm sure we saw only a very small proportion of the gardens and grounds and we will definitely go back for more, but we'll wait until next summer when hopefully we'll be able to spend more time enjoying the outdoors with a picnic.