mottisfont lawn frostMany gardens can look a bit bare and forlorn in January and February, but with a little planning the coldest, darkest season of the year can still provide some stunning garden highlights.

At Mottisfont House and Garden, Hampshire (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont) they’ve really embraced the challenges of winter gardening by creating a space entirely dedicated to winter plants, foliage, stems and bark.

mottisfont winter gardenThe Winter Garden has a series of winding paths, allowing you to meander through swathes of brilliant red cornus, ornamental brambles and plants bearing gleaming berries and fruit. Created in 2010, the garden covers an acre of ground and is situated next to the old ‘font’ – a spring that rises within the grounds and gives the site its name. There is a special ambience to this part of the garden in the winter, and it’s quite easy to wonder about imaging the generations of inhabitants of Mottisfont, who first settled here some 800 years ago.

The garden has also been designed to allow visitors to focus on scent, and includes winter honeysuckle, wintersweet and witch hazel. There are also bergenias and hellebores for early flowering interest and evergreen plants for structure such as box and mahonia.

If nothing else, this lovely garden has the potential to inspire a whole host of ideas for your own garden – ways to bring a little extra colour and magic into your own plot, when spring seems a long way off.

Other events…

Mottisfont always has a great range of events and exhibitions, so if the weather is really inclement then click HERE for more to do inside the house.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont