Peace and quiet in the winter garden?

Rose flower covered in frost at Montacute House & Garden

There’s a special pleasure in the winter garden. Without the distraction of bright colours, you see details that go unnoticed in the summer.

Take some time to slow down and appreciate the detail of the garden in winter.

It could be the sweeping texture of chestnut tree bark, the sparkle of the fountain, the crisp edges of yew hedges – or the rounded curves of the wibbly wobbly hedges round Cedar Lawn or North Garden.

Montacute House’s North Garden is a rare survival of an Elizabethan garden. Four centuries ago, a garden did not mean floral abundance and wild nature; it was a place of theatre and display, where the nature was tamed into intricate patterns. The upper walkways would have been the perfect place to admire the knot garden below (long since gone, but watch this space next year).

The formality of yew hedges and knife-sharp paths comes to life in winter light. You can see the bones of the garden’s design, and with bare trees the vistas out into the parkland are even more enticing.

It's a place of quiet beauty and peace...unless you're a gardener with another few hundred bulbs to plant, that is.