Winter in the garden at Mottisfont

Frosty mornings bring out a unique beauty in Mottisfont's gardens: mist rising up from the river and crisp, sparkling lawns. Mottisfont's winter garden is full of vibrant colours from late November into early spring, while delicate drifts of snowdrops appear beside our waterways in January.

The winter garden glows with brilliantly coloured winter bark from dogwood and ornamental bramble, while berries, fruit and late- and early-flowering perennials also provide colour during the shortest days of the year.

This one-acre garden took shape in 2010 near one of Mottisfont's oldest features, the font, which attracted settlement here more than 800 years ago. 

A wet area near the font supports ornamental willow, the stems of which take on burgundy, russet or yellow tints in the winter months.

Bright stems in Mottisfont's winter garden
Bright winter stems in the winter garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Sweet-scented daphnes and winter-flowering honeysuckles, wintersweet, witch hazel and viburnum all contribute to a subtle fragrance in the crisp cold air. Bright berries and fruit are provided by skimmia and euonymus, while bergenia and hellebores also provide colour during the shortest days of the year.

A ribbon of clipped buxus threads its way down a steep slope, while ‘streams’ of ground-hugging periwinkle, pachysandra and early spring bulbs echo the flow of the water from the adjacent font.

Delicate displays of snowdrops

White clusters of snowdrops emerge around the grounds from January, nestled beside the font stream along the river walk.

Snowdrops in bloom
Close up picture of snowdrops

To complement our existing displays we've planted around 16,000 new bulbs, mainly galanthus naivalis. A new path will meander around the areas of these newly-planted snowdrops, an ancient buxus plantation and along the banks of the stream.