The garden at Mottisfont
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.
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.
We make compost in vast quantities at Mottisfont, keeping the soil healthy and ensuring the garden, including the famous rose collection, is looking its very best.
25 November 2023 - 7 January 2024: follow letters to Father Christmas on a magical journey to the North Pole, from children dreaming in decorated bedrooms to a polar bear’s ball, and experience the wonder of the northern lights.
Mottisfont is a two pawprint rated place. Dogs on a short lead are welcome to explore most of the garden.
Explore Mottisfont’s diverse estate, traversed by the crystal-clear River Test, and south Hampshire countryside sites of Stockbridge Down and Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve.
The National Collection of old-fashioned roses reaches its peak flowering season in June for a spectacular annual display.
From 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes to intimate woodland gardens, there are so many places to discover.
Discover our gardeners’ top tips so you can make the most of your garden, plot or window box.
Our Hampshire gardens are brimming with lush colour in autumn. Magnificent dahlia borders, productive kitchen gardens, and panoramic views combine to give joy and inspiration at every turn.