What to spot in the garden this winter

A daphne shrub in the sun at Knightshayes

The garden at Knightshayes is a spectacular sight during the spring and summer, but there’s no winter blues here during the colder months. The garden boasts beauty in a different way, with new buds and scents appearing.

What are we up to in the Knightshayes garden?

The team are still busy mulching, lightly pruning, taking care of the lawns and continuing to nurture the garden to keep it in top form. The leaves may have long left the branches of the trees in the woodland garden, but it means the clearer view brings a new way for our visitors to see the garden.

In the Kitchen Garden the green manure, which was planted at the start of the year (when it became clear we wouldn't be able to grow our usual crops) as a way of suppressing weeds and improving the soil will be dug into the ground in late winter.

New views

As the leaves drop, leaving the limbs of trees bare new views open up across the estate. Return to favourite spots to see how the views have opened up or discover new viewpoints on walks around the parkland and gardens. A favourite amongst staff and volunteers is the view from the formal garden across the parkland. Another great spot is on the raised terraces in the Kitchen Garden, looking out across the vegetable beds to the colourful trees that surround it.

Don't miss:

Paved Garden and Chase Lawn

In the beds opposite the chasing hounds topiary, alongside the paved garden, you can spot vibrant violet muscari (Muscari armeniacum).

Flowering in late winter and early spring you can spot grape hyacinths in the formal garden
a close up of purple grape hyacinths
Flowering in late winter and early spring you can spot grape hyacinths in the formal garden

St John’s Wood

Let your nose lead you to the next shrub you should make sure to pass on your walk around the garden. Daphne (Daphne) bears flowers with a strong but delicate and beautiful scent. You’ll smell it long before you see it, but it’s an evergreen shrub with dainty, pink flowers.

Holly’s Wood

In this area towards the Cedar House, the vivid yellow Witch hazel (Hamamellis x intermedia ‘Pallida’) is a vision of colour amongst the darker shrubs. It’s around this section that you can keep your eyes peeled for the jolly Hellebores (Helleborus) with their nodding flowers that are scattered all around bringing Winter colour and life into the garden.

Flowering in late winter, hellebores are a good source of early food for pollinating insects
A close up of a pink hellebore
Flowering in late winter, hellebores are a good source of early food for pollinating insects

Garden in the Wood

From the paths surrounding the garden in the wood, you’ll be able to see the early Camellias (Camellia) bushes. These vivid, plump flowers certainly won’t be hard to spot. Near these, you’ll also be able to see some early Rhododendrons (Rhododendron) bursting into life.

Of course, be sure to keep eyes peeled for the seasonal dainty Snowdrops and sprouting Crocus.

Spot snowdrops in the woodland garden
A woman and child sitting amongst the snowdrops
Spot snowdrops in the woodland garden

Top trees

Although the trees may be bare they can still create a striking silhouette. It's also the perfect time of year to see the wonderful bark that the acer's, birch and some of the pine trees have.

Take a closer look at the bark of trees
A close up of the white bark of a silver birch tree with other silver birches behind it contrasting against a dark background.
Take a closer look at the bark of trees