3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today click here

Winter garden at Mottisfont Abbey

PUBLISHED: 15:39 17 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:39 17 February 2016

Enter the Winter Garden at Mottisfont to discover seasonal delights

Enter the Winter Garden at Mottisfont to discover seasonal delights

Archant

Enjoy the winter garden at Mottisfont Abbey with vibrant stems, berries, scented flowers and early bulbs combining to great effect says Leigh Clapp

Gone are the days of gardens closing down through the winter, now more and more are developing a specifically planted area of seasonal interest.

One of the newest winter gardens is at the atmospheric Mottisfont Abbey near Romsey, designed in 2009 by head gardener, David Stone and Alison Evans, general manager. Developing a dedicated winter garden bed or planting is a trend worth embracing, even if it’s just a seasonal container by the door to admire before popping into the warmth. Positioning your winter bed where it can be seen from inside is also another way to really enjoy the winter picture you have created.

There is beauty of both colour and scent to be enjoyed. On an overcast day the rich hues will lift your spirits - and on a crisp, bright day when the sunlight intensifies the effect, it can be breathtaking. From flaming cornus stems lighting up in the low winter sunshine above carpets of hellebores, to catching the delicious vanilla scent of Sarcococca ruscifolia as it comes into bloom, or the combination of perfume and backlit sunset hues of witch hazels - there is much to inspire.

Take a magical winter walk at Mottisfont to admire the structure of evergreens, architectural foliage, vibrant stark stems, beautiful barks, berries and scented flowers. Dustings of snow or frosty dewdrops sparkling on filigree cobwebs transform the scene further.

Branches take on sculptural forms. Contrasts and colours are intensified in the winter light. Don’t overlook the power of bark as well, such as the shimmering white stems of Betula utilis var. jacquemontii, the tactile peeling orange beauty of Acer griseum or the sheen of Prunus serrula. Visiting now lets you see both the winter planting and the first signs of spring from the dainty milky-white snowdrops as they pop up along the banks of the stream.

The half-acre plot of the winter garden is set in a sloping hollow and is underplanted with thousands of winter and early spring bulbs, including smaller-flowering narcissi. Having been designed to hold interest from November to April, it is planted with an array of choices we can take inspiration from such as ornamental brambles, rich black Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ and massed hellebores.

The design has flowing drifts of coloured stems, scented shrubs, berries and evergreens. The sense of layering and combining plants can be translated to the home garden, or you may spy some individual plants you could use to fill gaps in the border through winter. You can even miniaturise the effects for containers with for example, cornus underplanted with hellebores and snowdrops.

Opening times

Mottisfont, Romsey, SO51 0LP | Garden, shop and café open 10am-5pm | www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

READ ON

Hampshire walk around the New Forest National Park - Head to Ashurst for a peaceful walk in the New Forest National Park, taking in open common, woods and the Beaulieu River says Steve Davison

More from Out & About

Mon, 12:42

Head to the Isle of Wight to enjoy the charming villages of Brighstone and Mottistone, taking in superb views, an ancient monument and enchanting gardens with our new walks writer, Fiona Barltrop

Read more
Mon, 12:29

With the centenary of the end of World War One commemorated this year, the reopening of the iconic Royal Victoria Chapel, part of our military heritage, is timely

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

New Forest ponies are an iconic sight, yet modern-day pressures pose a constant threat to the traditional landscape. Viv Micklefield heads to Lyndhurst to take stock of what happens inside England’s oldest forest court

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Austen’s treasures to castles built by Henry VIII, Heritage Open Days (6-9 and 13-16 September 2018) allow you to step behind the doors of some of the county’s most iconic but hidden premises.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With the New Forest, South Downs and a picturesque coastline, Hampshire is an amazing place for a walk. We round up a few of our favourites

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If there’s one thing we love to do here at Hampshire Life, it’s to celebrate local produce! So here are a selection of some of the best farm shops across the county where you’ll find just that

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

With a vibrant local community, this is a shining example of a true Hampshire village

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people, and many more are seeing the health benefits after waving goodbye to gluten. Here are just a few of the county’s cafes, pubs and producers who are embracing the gluten free way

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking for some peace and tranquility this summer? Lose yourself in one of these wonderful gardens

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search