Spring in the garden at Mottisfont

Daffodils flowering underneath a plane tree at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Late spring flowers create pockets of colour around our gardens, including the last daffodil displays of the season. Wild cherry and young apple trees are crowned with blossom, while other trees show off fresh new leaves. Hundreds of tulips are blooming in the walled gardens. Look out for the first, early roses in May.

During winter we plant masses of mixed, naturalising spring bulbs under ancient trees, in the winter garden, the walled gardens, and in the cherry orchard. Maud Russell’s head gardener, Mr Buckle, started the tradition of ‘bulk planting’ a single plant variety which has since been adopted by subsequent head gardeners.

This spring bulb showcase is designed to provide changing displays throughout the season. Now, as we enter the last months of spring, tulips and hyacinths create colourful displays in the walled gardens and parterre. Snakeshead fritillary and orchids bloom in the long grass of the little cherry orchard.

Overhead, the many trees in our gardens are beginning to display bright new leaves. Tree pruning carried out by our garden team helps ensure the best possible displays year on year.

The first spring vegetables have been planted in the Kitchen Garden, and young apple trees produce modest displays of blossom here. Alongside tulips, the raised beds are full of mixed salad leaves and perennial herbs, including medieval varieties that would once have been planted here in the old priory gardens.

Roses start to emerge from May onwards in the adjoining walled gardens. Wall-climbing varieties are the first to flower, building up to the main “rose season” in June.

Mottisfont's rose arch in the evening sun

Plan and book your rose season visit 

Our walled gardens are home to the National Collection of pre-1900 old-fashioned roses, which reach their peak in early summer. Flowering just once a year, the blooming season attracts thousands of visitors. We’re open from 10am-8pm (last entry 7pm) on Mondays - Saturdays from 30 May – 2 July (closing at 5pm on Sundays). To guarantee entry during this time, please pre-book your parking space if you’re planning to visit between 10am-3.30pm. You don’t need to book for visits after 3.30pm. Tickets can be booked up to four weeks in advance. Please note, the house is closed during this time.

Wildflowers on the wider estate

Our estate woodlands put on a wildflower show for spring. Species such as lady's smock (also known as the cuckoo flower), celandines and bluebells begin to cover the meadows and woodland floor. 

Our estate walk is the best way to see this annual flowering.

Bluebells in bloom on a woodland floor, in the wider estate of Mottisfont, Hampshire
Walking trail

Mottisfont estate walk 

From mid-April and into May, our woodlands offer one of Britain's most beloved natural sights: floods of bluebells in flower. Take our 6 mile estate walk to spot pretty periwinkle patches decorating the woodland floor, particularly at the start of the walk in Spearywell, and later in Queensmeadow and Great Copse. A protected species in the UK, the common bluebell is a fragile flower; please stick to the defined footpaths while you walk, and leave the flowers in their natural environment, for everyone to enjoy.