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. Delicate drifts of white snowdrops flourish beside our waterways, and the winter garden is full of vibrant colours into early spring.

Delicate displays of snowdrops

White clusters of snowdrops nestle beside the font stream and along the river walk - a sign that spring is on the way. We've planted around 16,000 new snowdrop bulbs to create a wonderful winter scene this year, in addition to our existing collection. 

" Snowdrops lift the spirits like nothing else and remind us of the delights of the spring to come. At Mottisfont, we plant native species galanthus nivalis, which in time will self-seed and colonise, creating a snowy carpet of petals – perfect for our woodland setting."
- Jonny Norton

A new woodchip path meanders around the areas of these newly-planted snowdrops, through an ancient buxus plantation and along the banks of the river.

A new path guides you through some of our snowdrop displays
A woodchip, tree-lined pathway curves through drifts of snowdrops in the gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire
A new path guides you through some of our snowdrop displays

The winter garden

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
Bright stems in Mottisfont's winter garden

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.