Fun and inspiration with the scarecrows at Trengwainton Garden

Two scarecrows in the form of Venus and Serena Williams in the walled garden at Trengwainton

The scarecrow exhibition in the walled kitchen garden at Trengwainton is an eagerly awaited annual event, and this year’s theme of Inspirational Women commemorates 100 years since some women received the right to vote.

The setting

This is the ninth year that the walled kitchen garden has played host to the scarecrows and they’re a quirky sight in amongst the fruit, vegetables and flowers, or peering down from the tops of the sloping beds.

Each of the five sections of the kitchen garden has its own distinct character, as did Sir Rose Price who in the early 1800s built their overall size to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark in the bible; 300 cubits long x 50 cubits wide (400 feet x 67 feet).

The inspiring women

There are thirteen women represented by the scarecrows and they cover a whole range of characters including activists, scientists, sportswomen, writers, a fashion designer and an aviator.

Amongst them is suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst standing atop one of the sloping beds in full oratory flow, while fashion designer Coco Chanel lounges casually along the top of another.

Malala Yousafzai, a champion of female education, is as colourful as the flower bed she’s set in, while tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams are captured mid-match on the lawn.

Making the scarecrows

Although this year’s theme was chosen to compliment the National Trust’s Women and Power national programme the characters themselves were the inspiration of artist John Keys and the school children he worked with.

With help from volunteers from Trengwainton, John lead workshops with around 60 children from Heamoor, St Mary’s CE and St Maddern’s schools to make the scarecrows, and their enthusiasm, talent and humour shine through in the finished articles.

The votes are in

During August over 3,000 visitors voted for their favourite scarecrow and the results are in.

Venus and Serena Williams continue their winning streak by coming first, Coco Chanel was a stylish second and Beatrix Potter a classic third.

The voting may be over, but you can still see the scarecrows during normal opening hours until the garden closes on 28 October.