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The garden at Mottisfont

Coppery trunks of Tibetan Cherry Trees in the winter garden amongst mounds of hellebores with orangey Cornus 'Midwinter Fire' beyond at Mottisfont, Hampshire. The sun can be seen beginning to rise above the trees on a January morning.
Coppery trunk of Prunus serrula in the winter garden with mounds of hellebores and orangey Cornus 'Midwinter Fire' beyond at Mottisfont | © National Trust Images/Carole Drake

Discover a garden of ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns. Carpets of spring bulbs, walled gardens, a world-famous collection of old-fashioned roses, rich autumn foliage and a colourful, scented winter garden create a feast for the senses all year round.

Step into the gardens at Mottisfont

The abundant spring that gave Mottisfont its name is now an ornamental feature of the garden. Tributaries of the River Test flow through the grounds, too. Follow paths beside the waterways to spot trout basking and swans gliding.

As you approach the house, an enormous tree catches the eye – seeming to dwarf the building from some angles. This huge London plane is thought to be the largest of its kind in Britain, and forms part of the National Collection of plane trees which stand in the grounds.

The garden is home to many other fine specimen trees, including grand horse chestnuts and stately oaks, planted by Georgian owners. Twentieth-century features include an elegant double row of pollarded limes and a circle of beech trees.

The Winter Garden

Dogwood and ornamental bramble show off bright winter bark in the one acre Winter Garden, 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.

Richly coloured 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.

Multi-stemmed birches and colourful-stemmed shrubs, in winter, in the Winter Garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Multi-stemmed birches and colourful-stemmed shrubs, in winter, in the Winter Garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire | © National Trust Images/Carole Drake


In February, snowdrops bloom beside our waterways and in the winter garden. We've planted thousands of bulbs in recent years, mainly galanthus nivalis and galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’. A ‘snowdrop walk’ meanders beside the abbey stream, taking in hundreds of flowers.

The Kitchen Garden

Rediscovered and restored in 2018, the innovative Kitchen Garden embodies Mottisfont’s medieval history and productive past. Everything planted here is culinary, medicinal or edible, designed to educate and inspire.

Raised beds are planted with a mix of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers from spring to autumn. Surrounding a central water feature, the beds are constructed of brick and flint to reflect materials found elsewhere at Mottisfont. Running the full length of the garden are two cloister-esque wooden pergola walkways crafted from re-purposed Hampshire chestnut. These have been newly planted with sweet peas and grape vines, which will develop over the coming years.

Visitors in the walled rose garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Discover more at Mottisfont

Find out when Mottisfont is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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