National Gardening Week: Revitalising the East Lakeside at Trentham Gardens with New Plantings - Trentham Estate

National Gardening Week: Revitalising the East Lakeside at Trentham Gardens with New Plantings

At Trentham Gardens, the East Lakeside area is undergoing an exciting transformation, deeply inspired by the innovative planting designs of Professor Nigel Dunnett. His prior work at Trentham has set a high standard, emphasising not only the aesthetic enhancement of our landscapes but also their ecological function and sustainability.

Nigel Dunnett’s Contributions to Trentham Gardens

Professor Dunnett’s designs at Trentham are part of a broader initiative started in 2017 to create a series of gardens along the 3km edge of the Capability Brown lake. These gardens are designed to mimic the exuberant feeling of a summer hay meadow, incorporating cultivated forms and close relatives of native meadow species. This creates a vibrant, colourful display from spring through to mid-late summer, fundamentally enhancing the visitor experience​ (Nigel Dunnett)​.

Yellow Rattle – The Meadow Maker

We have introduced Yellow Rattle in certain areas around the lake to promote the growth of a diverse range of wildflowers. Known as the ‘Meadow Maker’, Yellow Rattle has a semi-parasitic life, feeding off the nutrients in the roots of nearby grasses, which helps in suppressing grass growth and promoting biodiversity.

Red Clover Around Iconic Sculptures

Near the Otter Sculpture and the bird hide, we have sown Red Clover. This plant is not only aesthetically pleasing but also ecologically beneficial—it fixes nitrogen in the soil and provides a rich source of nectar for pollinators.

Future Plans Inspired by Dunnett’s Work

Our future plans for the East Lakeside draw heavily on the principles demonstrated by Dunnett’s projects at Trentham. His approach often features a blend of perennials and grasses that create a dynamic, seasonally evolving landscape. The Kingfisher Hide area is already a testament to this approach, with its successful integration of local woodland meadow flora​ (Nigel Dunnett)​.

Embracing Ecological Gardening

Guided by our dedicated Garden Team and inspired by Professor Dunnett’s work, our new planting schemes aim to create a stunning visual impact while supporting local wildlife. The forthcoming floral displays around East Lakeside are intended to be both a visitor attraction and a habitat enhancement, illustrating our commitment to sustainable landscape management.