Winter gardens in London and the South East

You might think of gardens being a spring or summer thing, but there's still plenty to see in our gardens across the South East this winter. From snowdrops at Stowe in Buckinghamshire, to aconites at Polesden Lacey in Surrey and brightly coloured dogwood at Mottisfont in Hampshire.

A frosty winter morning at Sheffield Park and Garden

Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex 

Bare trees expose their structural form and with crisp air and the crunch of frosty leaves underfoot the garden is sure to delight in winter as much as any other season.

Snowdrops growing in the garden at Kingston Lacy

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

It won’t be long before you see the gardens bursting with snowdrops or as we fondly like to call them ‘Stowedrops’. Enjoy chilly walks in the New Year to spot the early signs of them peeping through as they develop in the masses throughout the Elysian Fields, Sleeping Wood and Lamport Garden.

Winter sunshine on bright bark, leaves and stems in Mottisfont's winter garden

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

Mottisfont's winter garden is at its best from late November into early spring, specially planted to provide colour during the shortest days of the year. Stroll through paths that wind through winter-flowering shrubs and perennials, chosen for colour and scent.

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

Ightham Mote, Kent 

With the vibrant coloured stems of the dogwood, through to the snowdrops peeping out, don't be shy about exploring the garden this winter.

Snowy exterior of the south front, Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire 

The garden becomes a magical place at winter time, with beautiful walks, stunning views and adventure to be had around every corner. Don't forget the Stables cafe is open at weekends 11am-4pm, serving hot and cold food.

The tower baked in winter sun

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent 

Discover the bare beauty of the garden in winter and the structure which provides the frame work for abundant planting later in the year every weekend. Sissinghurst is famous as the epitome of the English Garden; a result of the creative tension between the formal design of Harold Nicolson and the exuberant planting of Vita Sackville-West. Walk at your leisure around parts of the garden not normally open at this time of year to discover the structure and architecture at its best.

A dusting of snow on the Blenheim Pavilion at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire

Cliveden, Buckinghamshire 

Wrap up warm and make the most of the winter exploring frost-jewelled corners of the gardens. You'll find spots of colour too, thanks to bright red berries, creamy hellebores, fiery dogwoods and more.

Snowdrops, Plas yn Rhiw, Llyn, Gwynedd

Polesden Lacey, Surrey 

Discover an array of snowdrops at Polesden Lacey in February. There are white drifts lining the Lime Walk down to the formal gardens, but perhaps the best place to see them is in the Winter Garden. Planted by noted botanist Graham Stuart Thomas, this garden really comes to life, with yellow winter aconites, in the depths of the winter frost.

Snowdrops growing in the garden at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Nymans, West Sussex 

During wintertime the garden at Nymans is at rest, but not asleep, with snowdrops, flame coloured cornus stems, scented daphne and colourful camellias flowering throughout the garden.

An empty bench by the lakeside in winter at Winkworth Arboretum

Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey 

Laced with frost and dotted with unusual winter blooms, Winkworth Arboretum becomes a secret haven of botanical beauty during the colder months. Wrap up warm and discover 149 acres of understated tranquility in this fascinating wintry woodland.

A winter view across the pond towards the house at Bateman's in East Sussex

Bateman's, East Sussex 

Nature may be resting, but there is beauty to be found in the sculptural forms of the skeleton trees, splashes of colour from winter flowers and a sense of peace in the sleeping garden. The winter landscapes reveal the structure of the garden that Kipling created at Bateman's and capture views that can only be enjoyed at this time of year.

Snowdrops, Plas yn Rhiw, Llyn, Gwynedd

Petworth, West Sussex 

For the first glimpse of spring visit Petworth and see swathes of snowdrops that carpet the Pleasure Grounds - a welcome sign of warmer days to come.

Stark tree on the Basildon Park estate

Basildon Park, Berkshire 

Enjoy a relaxing stroll following the paths around the garden as you take in the views overlooking the River Thames and into the Chilterns, or take a refreshing longer walk around the woodland.

The winter garden with holly

Osterley Park, London 

We have been developing the winter garden for the last five years and it is now a sight to behold while the rest of the garden slumbers We have planted many varieties of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bulbs - all of which have colourful or interesting leaves, bark, stems or flowers in the winter months, which are at their best when light levels are low and when the sun’s low angle lights up their bright stems.