Down House in Winter

Once the shortest day has slipped by and winter becomes firmly entrenched in the garden at the Down House, hidden depths are revealed by a low sun that dances from tree to plant, illuminating enclosed spaces, and laying bare the bones of the garden. ‘There is an interplay of light and shade within different ‘rooms’ that makes the garden deeply atmospheric in winter,’ say Mark and Jackie Porter who have together created this garden over the last 20 years. Against a rising sun, pleached hornbeams glow, topiary forms are highlighted, a potager is unveiled, and a fountain sparkles as it plays above a frozen pool. ‘We planted it to create structure and add height to cast the long shadows that create such impact in winter.’

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