Ightham Mote garden in winter

Looking across the north lake at Ightham Mote on a sunny winter's day

After the leaves have fallen and many shrubs lay dormant waiting for spring, it's time for the structure of the garden to stand up proud.

With a series of smaller 'gardens' leading up towards the historic pleasure grounds, Ightham Mote's 14-acre garden has something ethereal about it in winter. 

Whether it's the sunlight glistening on the water, early morning mists and frosts shrouding the garden, dew sparkling on spider webs or the sound of running water the springs and water features the garden has a wonderful, mysterious atmosphere in winter. 

A blanket of frost sparkles in the pleasure grounds
Ightham Mote from the pleasure grounds in winter
A blanket of frost sparkles in the pleasure grounds

Colour, scent and structure 

Look out for the different branch structures of the ‘skeletons’ of the trees and shrubs that have lost their leaves, the variety of shapes of the leaves that lie on the ground and the different patterns of bark on their stems. Discover things that are normally hidden by the green leaves: mosses and lichens on twigs and stone walls, views and features you hadn’t noticed before. Marvel at the different shades of the evergreen trees, shrubs and other plants that now stand out in their role of providing structure and interest in the garden.   

On the slope, beneath the silvery bark of the birches, a charming display of cyclamen and snowdrops appear alongside the vibrant stems of dogwood and the spotted flowers of hellebores. 



Silver birch and dogwood shine out in winter
The pump house surrounded by silver birch and dogwood stems
Silver birch and dogwood shine out in winter

January and February at Ightham Mote 

It's the most wonderful time of the year at Ightham Mote. With frosted branches glistening in the sunshine, widespread views opening up through leafless trees... it's time to wrap up warm, and enjoy the crisp, fresh air. 

Winter is one of the most peaceful times of the year in the garden. As you wander down the slope, the silver birch, underplanted with cyclamen, snowdrops and hellebores, will begin to provide a colourful display. We have hard paths in a circuit around the gardens so you can access most areas of the garden this winter.