The winter garden at Mottisfont

Red and yellow stems in the Winter Garden at Mottisfont, Hampshiree

Experience the vibrant colours of Mottisfont's winter garden. Stroll through paths that wind through winter-flowering shrubs and perennials, chosen for colour and scent.

There's 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.

The one-acre winter 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

Scent, colour and structure

Sweet-scented daphnes and winter-flowering honeysuckles, wintersweet, witch hazel and bright mahonia, whose flowers have a lily-of-the-valley smell, and viburnum all contribute to a subtle fragrance in the crisp cold air.

Bright berries and fruit are provided by skimmia and euonymus, while late- and early-flowering perennials such as 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.