Going Dutch as Trentham hosts first Spring Bulb Festival

Staffordshire’s award-winning Trentham Gardens will burst to life – and riot of colour – for its first ever Spring Festival to celebrate the 15thanniversary of the historic estate re-opening to the public.

More than 50,000 extra bulbs, and 500 decorative pots, will create stunning floral displays throughout the gardens, especially around the Italian Gardens area – already described as “the finest Italian Gardens outside of all of Italy”.

Taking inspiration from the Dutch layering of bulbs to create carpets of colour, Trentham will be adding contemporary twists, as well as complementing the extra bulbs with thousands of bedding plants, for its inaugural Spring Bulb Festival (March – May 2019).

Launching the anniversary celebrations to mark the historic gardens re-opening to the public, the Festival at Trentham is set to dazzle with swathes of colour, stunning floral displays and natural ‘photo frames‘, which will give visitors the chance to take that perfect ‘selfie’ amidst the spring colours.

Also new for 2019 will be an unusual installation on the mile-long Capability Brown lake featuring groups of rowing boats planted with nine varieties of tulips and narcissus ‘Red Devon’ to create a colourful addition to the garden planting.

Owned for over 400 years by the Dukes of Sutherland, the 725-acre estate had fallen into a state of despair at the end of the last century when the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, St. Modwen Properties PLC, stepped-in to breathe new life into the gardens, which re-opened to the public on May 29, 2004.

Fifteen years on it has matured to become one of England’s most visited paid for garden attractions as well as win top awards for garden regeneration and horticultural excellence, and for the quality of its visitor welcome.

The Spring Bulb Festival will see more than 500 pots filled with flowers installed throughout the Italian Garden, to complement the planting of almost 50,000 new bulbs, alongside the usual permanent displays. In the Upper Flower Garden, more than 10,000 tulips from the Apeldoorn series in reds, oranges and yellows along with 516 orange and yellow Crown Imperials and 300 Narcissus will combine with almost 7,000 spring flowering bedding plants along with grasses.

Trentham’s famous David Austin Rose Border has had its existing tulips and alliums refreshed with 900 additional tulips in soft pink, plum and white, while 60 pots have been planted combining April and May flowering tulips – including frilled, parrot, lily and double forms with Hyacinths. The Balustrade borders have been planted with a contemporary bulb pictorial meadow, mixing just over 5,000 bulbs including tulips in deep reds and burgundy through to golden yellow, and the Balustrade steps will have 74 pots massed in groups introducing a further 16 varieties of tulips combining early and late flowering species.

Elsewhere, garden borders have been planted with thousands of Allium and Scilla, and naturalistic displays in Trentham’s woodland walks have new plantings of Narcissus Thalia, Anenome nemerosa and over 1,000 Cyclamen coum – in addition to drifts of naturalised wood anenomes, bluebells and wild garlic.

Set to offer picture postcard vistas, photographers will be in floral heaven and a viewing platform will give all visitors a stunning view across the Italian Garden displays. For those spring selfies, the new flower-filled pots will be grouped around large ‘photo frames’, where visitors can enjoy taking seasonal snaps amongst the colourful displays.

Trentham’s team of talented gardeners have also thought about how they can inspire visitors to create their own displays too, with bulb displays zoned in different colour palettes to offer ideas for themes visitors can try at home.

For more information about visiting Trentham, seewww.trentham.co.uk.