Winter in the garden at Mottisfont

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

The first, early spring bulbs are popping up around the grounds as snowdrops begin to fade - look out for daffodils and crocuses as they emerge beneath the trees. In our specially-planted winter garden, you'll find colour and scent from seasonal berries, flowers and bark.

Although snowdrops are now past their peak, you can still see delicate white clusters of mainly galanthus naivalis on riverside pathways. Bright yellow winter aconites, hellebores and purple cyclamen are also putting on an uplifting display.

The winter garden

Our specially planted winter garden was designed to brighten up the colder months with colour and scent. Meander along winding pathways that mimic the gentle flow of water to discover the secrets of the season.

Dogwood and ornamental bramble show off bright winter bark. A wet area near the font supports ornamental willow, the stems of which take on burgundy, russet or yellow tints in the winter months.

Mottisfont's peaceful winter garden, planted to provide colour during the shortest days
Birch trees in the winter garden at Mottisfont
Mottisfont's peaceful winter garden, planted to provide colour during the shortest days

Bright berries and fruit are provided by skimmia and euonymus, and there are splashes of colour from bergenia and hellebores. 'Streams’ of ground-hugging periwinkle, pachysandra and early spring bulbs echo the flow of the water from the adjacent font.

Sweet-scented daphnes and winter-flowering honeysuckles, wintersweet, witch hazel and viburnum all contribute to a subtle fragrance in the crisp cold air.

Winter work

Our gardeners are now tackling the annual winter rose pruning; an intense period of work now helps us to prepare for our spectacular displays in early summer.

We'll also be spreading over sixty tonnes of our homemade compost throughout the rose gardens and Kitchen Garden. This will feed the soil, help with water retention, reduce outbreaks of disease and increase the natural production of beneficial fungi. We no longer use fungicide for our roses, focusing instead on natural methods of biosecurity.