Harvest time at Mottisfont
Autumn is a time for harvest: from gathering fallen leaves to plucking ripe apples from the tree. We're celebrating the season with activities, displays, and opportunities to learn more about the land we look after. It's the first anniversary of our new Kitchen Garden, too, which is bursting with fresh produce.
We're celebrating Harvest Time from Saturday 21 September until Sunday 3 November, 10am-5pm. Normal property admission price only.
Autumn at Mottisfont
We're celebrating the first anniversary of our Kitchen Garden this year. Inside the walls of this innovative garden, long pergolas inspired by medieval cloisters are spilling over with hanging gourds, and raised beds are full of colourful produce.
Almost everything in this garden is edible, providing a continuous harvest for our café kitchens. There’s a daily selection of produce offered to visitors, too, with donations going towards raising funds for our garden apprentice scheme. Look out for autumn crops of salad leaves, beetroot, herbs, chard, kale and legumes.
Our gardens are home to many fine ancient trees, which put on vibrant displays in the autumn months. Our outdoor guides will be offering daily tree walks to show off some our best specimens, including the Great Plane - thought to be the largest and oldest of its kind in Britain.
Help us with our harvest
As well as enjoying the colourful, seasonal displays from our trees, you can help contribute to our garden compost. Who doesn't love gathering big handfuls of crunchy autumn leaves? You'll find leaf bins dotted around the north and south paddocks for throwing in your harvest.
Our gardeners will then add them into the compost mix, which will go on to feed Mottisfont’s plants. Compost is integral to keeping our gardens in top condition, and fallen leaves are an important ingredient.
A country home at harvest time
There’s more to discover inside the house, including unusual art made from hard-shell gourds on display in the Red Room. These 'Gorgeous Gourds' are all lovingly grown, designed, carved and decorated by artist Amanda Rutland.
Throughout all the rooms, our volunteer florists are creating arrangements inspired by the changing colours of the season.
The land we look after
Head to Gardeners Cottage next to the Kitchen Garden to learn how we care for our gardens and countryside. You can pick up some top tips for your own garden, too.
For our countryside teams, October marks the beginning of felling season: we have an active working coppice in the Mottisfont woodlands. We cut hazel on rotation to produce an ongoing supply of produce including charcoal and faggots, which are available from the shop.
You can explore the wider estate at your leisure with one of our downloadable walking trails. Why not visit the Millenium Orchard in the village just beyond our gardens? Managed by a dedicated volunteer team, the orchard is filled with traditional apple varieties in autumn, such as southern England cultivar the Egremont Russet.
Commoning Voices exhibition
You’ll also find a photography exhibition in the Stables, Commoning Voices, which shares the passion commoners have for the New Forest, their animals and their community.
Many of the photographs in the exhibition have been taken by local photographer Sally Fear whose images have documented commoning over the past two decades. Others have been contributed from the family albums of commoners, and the collections of the Christopher Tower Reference Library in the New Forest Heritage Centre.