Spring in the garden at Mottisfont

Discover delightful displays of blossom and greenery as you stroll along our riverside pathways. Our gardens burst to life in spring, from colourful sprouting bulbs to newly hatched ducklings and cygnets taking to the water.

We've planted masses of mixed, naturalising 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.

Overhead, the many trees in our gardens are proudly displaying rich canopies of bright new leaves.

Weeping willow creating a graceful arch above our river
A weeping willow arches over a bridge in the grounds of Mottisfont, Hampshire
Weeping willow creating a graceful arch above our river

Wild garlic blooms near the font, and late spring flowers such as snake's head fritillary and orchids blossom in the cherry orchard meadow.

Tulips in the parterre, lime walk and central walled garden provide the finale of our bulb showcase, leading into early-flowering roses. Depending on the weather conditions, our rose collection may start blooming in May, ahead of their main flowering season in June.

Mottisfont's rose arch in the evening sun

Visit our rose garden 

Mottisfont's walled gardens are home to the National Collection of pre-1900 old-fashioned roses, which are in full bloom just once a year. Visit us in late May - June and you'll be met with unsurpassed fragrance and colour from thousands of flowers. Our gardens are open from 9am every day in June.

 

Spring in our new Kitchen Garden

The first spring vegetables were planted in our new Kitchen Garden in early March: mixed salad leaves and perennial herbs, including medieval varieties that would once have been planted here in the old priory gardens.

We also planted out the apple 'Bloody Ploughman’, which will in time become a structural feature trained as a Belgium fence, and a number of grape vine varieties in the pergola beds to complement the gourd displays later in the year. An early modest display of apple blossom is displayed on the young apple trees which surround the water feature.

Raised beds planted with vegetales and a pergola in the Kitchen Garden at Mottisfont

Creating our Kitchen Garden 

Thanks to money raised through the Walled Garden Appeal, we've created a new Kitchen Garden in the area formerly known as the 'Frameyard'. The new design reflects both Mottisfont’s medieval history and the garden's productive past.

Bluebells on the wider estate

Out on the wider estate, our ancient 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.