Getting out of the house for a garden visit is always welcome in the winter, and after all that Christmas cake and mulled wine there was a real need for fresh air and exercise. So just after Christmas we trekked off to Mottisfont, a National Trust house and garden in Hampshire.
The house isn’t open in winter, but there are sprawling grounds to wander around, and at this time of year it’s a good place to see plants with winter interest. The silhouettes of trees and shapes of plants here are just as interesting as the colorful stems and flowers.
At the moment there are sculptures of stars around the grounds, here’s one at the end of the Lime Walk adding a nice focal point.
There’s a little Gothic summerhouse tucked away in a corner of the garden:
and a very colourful winter garden with well-labelled plants if you want some ideas:
this is the very aptly named Cornus Midwinter Fire (dogwood), which always looks good planted en masse:
and Mahonia, and evergreen shrub with yellow flowers in winter, a stalwart of the winter garden:
The glossy-leaved Magnolia grandiflora looked lovely clipped flat against the stable wall to form a giant wall shrub:
The underside of the leaves is a soft bronze colour.
The imposing stable was positioned near the house to be seen as you entered the grounds, apparently this was to impress visitors when such a building showed status and wealth.
I wonder what status symbol we’d use now?
Wishing you a happy new year, I hope you enjoy your garden in 2013.
Click on the Mottisfont link above for information about opening times, directions etc.
images: Jill Anderson