Chelsea gold medal winners Tom Stuart-Smith and Piet Oudolf transformed the 12ha gardens at Trentham Estate, centred on a vast Victorian Italianate parterre. The modern interpretation is one of the largest examples of contemporary naturalistic perennial planting in Europe.
The designers, who worked with gardens manager Michael Walker, are the latest luminaries associated with the estate and gardens in Staffordshire.
Lancelot "Capability" Brown created the lake and parklands in Stoke-on-Trent in the 18th century, while Sir Charles Barry designed the Italian Gardens in the 1830s.
The restored gardens balance the formality of Barry's parterre terraces with contemporary planting informed by ecological principles.
A spokesman said: "Trentham's dramatic transformation from zero to hero was led by renowned garden designers who reinvented the derelict gardens on the river Trent."
The estate slid into dereliction in the 1970s and 1980s until it was bought by regeneration specialist St Modwen in 1996.
Walker said historically the garden always trail blazed trendsetting design and its latest guise paid tribute to and recalled those days by showing the latest in design.
It won the European Award for Garden Restoration from the European Garden Heritage Network, a German group with partners across the continent.
- Stuart-Smith and Oudolf will talk about Trentham at the Garden Museum, London, on 28 October. Oudolf and Jacqueline van der Kloet will speak on 27 October. See www.gardenmuseum.org.uk