Any Garden Mum will tell you it is a frustrating time, and for their own sanity, they seek to find anywhere that provides a good 'garden quick-fix' where the planting schemes are discovered before the playground. Military-grade planning is required - come across the swings first and we stand the chance of spending hours pushing bottoms and leaving without our much-needed flower-fix! The luxury of time; whether to ask about particular plants or to take decent photographs is a thing of the past, no matter how awe-inspiring the planting scheme appears to be. Instead we dart about frantically trying to keep one eye on the children and the other on the plants, snapping blindly with a mobile phone and hoping that at least one shot contains a flower!
So, how do you ensure a good gardening day out with two young toddlers? Firstly, chose somewhere that can combine both interests. Secondly, children are happiest when
they play, so create a game - take paper bags and collect Nature Treasure to make into pictures when you get home; make a Journey Stick which records the various parts of the garden by tying natural items onto a stick as you pass them by (blades of grass for the lawn, leaves for the trees), or play Nature Bingo and see who wins as you match fallen petals and leaves to coloured circles whilst exploring the garden. Thirdly, team up with other Garden Mums, share days out and make the most of this precious time to pass on your passion for gardening to your little ones - they won't stay little forever.
adventure playground, labyrinth, excellent eateries and individual shops make an enticing combination. The Piet Oudolf planting schemes are amazing, with high arching grasses and perennials that children just love to run around
and the Capability Brown lake, complete with boat trip, provides a fabulous woodland adventure too. The paths are wide (no knocking down lovely old men), the grass mounds are made for rolling down and yes!...if you turn right as you cross the bridge, it is possible to see all of the garden before reaching the swings - A true Garden Mum's paradise!
For ideas for fun activities to do with children outdoors visit: www.naturedetectives.org.uk
To find out more about the Trentham Estate visit: www.trentham.co.uk