Winter in the garden at Mottisfont

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

Most of our gardens remain open to local visitors for exercise in line with government guidance. In our specially planted winter garden, you can stroll through paths that wind through seasonal shrubs and perennials, chosen for colour and scent to brighten up the colder months.

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit our gardens. There are one-way routes for the winter garden, the river walk and the meadow. We've temporarily closed the walled gardens and the font stream pathway for now.

The winter garden

Dogwood and ornamental bramble show off bright winter bark, while berries, fruit and late- and early-flowering perennials also provide welcome bursts of colour. 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

You may find that our gardens aren’t quite as you’re used to seeing them. We had few gardeners in the property during lockdown and in the aftermath, while people stayed home and stayed safe. For now, there are some weeds and rough edges, but we hope that you can still enjoy the seasonal pleasures our grounds still have to offer.  

The walled gardens are currently closed to visitors, but our gardeners are tackling the annual winter rose pruning behind the scenes. 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.