Thursday, August 19, 2010

Whispering grass, the trees don’t need to know

Today I visited Trentham Gardens. The gardens are rather impressive, with huge swathes of perennial planting. Borders have been designed by Piet Oudolf and by Tom Stuart-Smith. Lots of people who know what they’re talking about have written about the gardens.

The most magical factors in the gardens for me were the grasses. I have dabbled with them at a very small scale in our garden (Stipa tenuissima with Achillea and irises) but at Trentham, in the Stuart-Smith and Oudolf borders, grasses reign supreme. They are used in a range of ways – as part of fantastic prairie planting, as punctuation marks, as linking plants and and as a river of grass.

The grasses bring the gardens to life, stimulating touch, sight and sound. Even in a light wind, they dance, and as the breeze rises, they move in a way that arouses the imagination – is that a tiger moving through the undergrowth?

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I feel the need to garland the garden with grasses.


Arabella Sock said...

I watched the video fully expecting a tiger to suddenly pop out!

I love grasses but until seeing Keith Wiley's garden last year I have always felt they should be separated from flowers. Now I see more and more lovely planting schemes where they are intermingled.

Trentham goes on my 'visit' list.

HappyMouffetard said...

I would have to leave something like that to the queen of videos - out of my league! Would have made the visit even more interesting, although significantly shorter and messier.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

These are wonderful. I have never really fallen for grasses before but am being gently pressurised by Artists Garden to reconsider and I think I am falling. Is the one top right Stipa Gigantea?

SomeBeans said...

Stipa Gigantea looks fab in our garden with the evening sun shining through it. Stipa tenuisima (sp?) is a target for psychotic attack by Ted the cat but also feels soft and fluffy against your legs.

HappyMouffetard said...

Elizabeth, I'm not sure what the top right grass it. Stipa gigantea is in the bottom left photo, the one with the box balls.

cherry said...

What beautiful photographs, where are these gardens exactly?

VP said...

I was there in June and thought it was a wonderful place even though the grass was a tad too short to do much whispering ;)