Winter in our gardens and grounds

A misty morning view of Canons Ashby's ferns

Although it's winter, there's still plenty going on in our outdoor spaces and lots happening behind the scenes. Our grounds have their own special beauty at this time of year and our 18th century formal gardens are coming to life with dashes of colour from the winter bedding plants.

When we open on 4 February why not pop along and enjoy the end of winter in our gardens and grounds? Make sure you check our opening hours before travelling - they have changed since last year.

Winter is a great time to see our outdoor spaces from a different perspective. With bare leaves, fewer flowering plants and a quieter garden, you're able to appreciate the special effect of winter's touch. From the clean crisp lines of the formal gardens and topiary, to the sharply cut bedding shapes and distant countryside views.

Get out and burn off some energy with the family
A family playing on the lawn
Get out and burn off some energy with the family

For the family

Our garden and grounds provide plenty of space for all the family to have a great day out and enjoy the fresh air. If you fancy more than just a gentle stroll, why not stretch your legs with one of our walks in the wider grounds and local area, picking up instructions from visitor reception or online.

For the younger visitors, collect a spotting sheet from visitor reception and see how many of the items you can spy as you explore the gardens. Most people can't find the chickens, can you?

In the corner of the paddock you'll find a little spinney. It has bug hotels made of recycled materials for our insect friends to hide in. Why not see what you can find?

Canons Ashby winter gardening

Behind the scenes

Winter is one of the busiest times for our gardening team. They've been stripping out and replacing the old bedding, digging and planting the vegetable patch, laying hedges, pruning trees and plenty more besides.

The winter bedding includes bellis daisies and mixed colour wallflowers, with blue forget-me-nots around the edges, creating a beautiful display to delight the senses.

As well as planning and replanting various beds, the garden team have also been busy doing plenty of maintenance in the parkland. Removing tree guards from younger trees who are now big and healthy, as well as laying hedges where needed.

In our vegetable garden broad beans, garlic and lots more have been sown. Although the ground may still look a little bare, it's ready and prepared to 'spring' into life soon!

A nuthatch in the garden
A Nuthatch at Canons Ashby
A nuthatch in the garden

Looking after our wildlife

As part of looking after the wildlife, we leave apples and pears on the trees or ground. This fruit provdes food for lots of creatures in the coldest months, particularly birds like fieldfares or waxwings.

Our team also check the nest boxes in the garden and parkland. If needed the boxes are given a clean and prepared for future lodgers. This allows us to monitor which boxes are being used, and sometimes get a bit more information about what types of birds are living here.

Whilst exploring the garden and grounds, you may find habitat piles or bug hotels in certain places where leaves, wood and other garden debris has been collected and left in a safe place. This provdes great protection for creatures like hedgehogs, small mammals and insect life in the cold winter months.