With all the hustle and bustle of the festive season, it’s time to invigorate mind and body with a country walk. Where better to explore than the magnificent surroundings of a National Trust garden on a crisp winter’s morning to see magical frosty landscapes with splashes of colour and winter wildlife dashing by. Here are our favourites:
Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire
During the winter months Colby welcomes a surprisingly rosy colour palette. The woodlands are full of holly with bright berries while the edges of the meadow are lined with red dogwood, and in the walled garden you’ll find pink hellebores. White bark birch trees (pictured) sparkle in the winter sun and the aptly named rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ is in flower from late January. The paths are dog-friendly too, perfect for getting the whole family out for a winter stroll.
Mottisfont’s winter garden has matured into a beautiful and unique landscape, full of horticultural treasures. Stroll along paths through winter-flowering shrubs and both late- and early-flowering perennials, rich in colour and scent. Brilliantly coloured dogwood bark and silvery ornamental bramble provide splashes of colour alongside berries and fruit even on the shortest days of the year. Gullies of foliage appear to wind through the banks of willow like water and spill into the stream. As winter continues, the garden becomes a refuge for other late flowering shrubs such as mahonia, sweet-smelling winter honeysuckle and daphne.
With winter comes the opportunity to discover Sizergh’s newly created stumpery and take in the seasonal planting in the garden, showcasing coloured and textured bark as well as winter berries and bulbs. The twisted trunks of the Acers in the rock garden are laid bare amongst the limestone and iced-over rock pools. After a bracing stroll around the gardens warm up with a hot drink and a tasty treat from the café.
For more magnificent gardens to visit, see the National Trust’s recommended winter gardens to visit here.
Do you have a favourite winter garden to visit? We would love to hear more…
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