The Winter Garden

Winter Garden

A blast of colour against a wintery landscape, the Winter Garden is an emerging beauty of shimmering bark, soft foliage and rich scents. Flourishing mid-January 2019.

33,000 new plants

The Winter Garden is flourishing from mid-January 2019. 

Stroll through our newly transformed Winter Garden and feel the colours, scents and textures lift your spirits. In total, 33,000 plants have combined to create a dynamic and contemporary design in the garden showcasing elegant Himalayan Birches (Betula utilis var jacquemontianii), Tibetan Cherry (Prunus serrula tibetica) and blocks of colourful Cornus. 

Situated on the west side of the Mansion, this 5,500 square metre garden was planted during the early months of 2018 by staff and volunteers who beautifully weaved together over 33,000 plants with mature trees.

Inspired by the South Downs

It was inspired by the trees and shrubs of the South Downs, and the plants have been specially chosen to reflect the local area and showcase the highlights of the season. 

The garden was designed by Garden Supervisor Francis Annette, who says:

'My thought process for the detailed design began with the word 'wild'. I wanted to create a feeling of expanse and openness as experienced in many winter landscapes, and for there to be open vistas that allow the eye to see through and beyond.'

'My inspiration for choosing our plants came from winter walks on the South Downs. I took many walks in our countryside and let nature's winter landscape inspire me. I noticed that in nature the visual impact comes from large numbers of only a few varieties of trees and shrubs. In short, less is more.' 

'We're replicating this effect here, by choosing only a small selection of plants and planting many of each of them. Our aim is to convey the essence of our local landscape in winter.'

Contrasting colours

Set off on the winding path through the garden.

The white trunks of the mature Himalayan silver birch trees (Betula utilis var jacquemontianii) contrast beautifully with the colours of Cornus, succulent bronze Bergenia and feather-like Calamagrostis.

Smell the rich fragrance of daphne and witch hazel, and relax amongst the greenery on our large carved wooden bench. This striking bench has been locally made and crafted from oak in a beautiful curved design. 

The plants include: 

  • 16,000 snowdrops (Galanthus)
  • 6,000 sedges (Carex)
  • 5,000 crocuses (Crocus)
  • 2,000 cyclamen (Cyclamen)
  • 600 fountain grasses (Pennisetum)