Winter Lights at Anglesey Abbey

We always enjoy a visit to the winter garden at Anglesey Abbey.

dsc_0793 This year we went a bit early because we had tickets for their Winter Lights event. Several National Trust properties are holding these now and it adds a whole new, rather magical element to  the garden.

The colours in the winter garden were enhanced. The Cornus alba ‘Baton Rouge’ looked very red indeed.

The berries of Callicarpa boudineri sparkled like purple amethysts.
The gorgeous shiny brown bark of Prunus serrula looked shinier than ever.

Prunus serrula

Prunus serrula

You could have it in purple too with the ghostly white bramble, Rubus thibetanus in front.


The twisted hazel Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ looked like Medusa’s head.


I love the way the yellow dogwood, Cornus stolonifera ‘Flaviramea’  gleamed and a few stems turned white. On the left the yellow flowers of Mahonia ‘Charity’ turned a ghostly white too.


You would think that the famous birch grove couldn’t be improved upon and changing the colours of the gleaming white stems would be like dyeing flowers. But everyone stood transfixed watching the ever-changing kaleidoscope of colours.

The tall poplars along the canal kept changing colour too.

Allium seedheads were planted amongst white birch branches.

A surreal touch was the white umbrellas in the rose garden.
The snowdrop garden at Anglesey Abbey is famous and we had a little foretaste of the pleasures to come.
I am looking forward to going back to the winter garden in January and February and seeing all the winter flowers in daylight and even better smelling them; so many winter blooms are fragrant. But on a dreary evening at the end of November it was fun to see it looking magically different. And a bit surreal.

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29 Responses to Winter Lights at Anglesey Abbey

  1. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing those lovely images – a new way to view a garden indeed!

  2. Fantastic! I love this and will share it!

  3. I liked the backlit white umbrellas and that gorgeous Prunus best.

    • Chloris says:

      Prunus serrula has the most wonderful shiny bark and looks wonderful in winter. Another one that is great for bark is Acer griseum as it has cinnamon coloured peeling bark.

  4. Sam says:

    It is amazing how different a garden can look at night with lighting. The birches and poplars do look ethereal. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Christina says:

    Wonderful, I’m going to check if it is still on when I come for Christmas, I would love to see it. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely images to inspire us.

    • Chloris says:

      Unfortunately it is sold out for this winter. They have sold 18000 tickets. We bought our tickets in the summer and that is what you should do if you would like to go next year. You get a timed entry, although you can stay as long as you like.

  6. homeslip says:

    That looks like fun and the birch grove as kaleidoscope looks enchanting. But I still think I prefer my winter gardens on a frosty day under a blue sky in January. Have you been to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden recently? Their winter garden was small and perfectly formed, but it was the scent that blew me away.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I love the winter garden at Cambridge. In fact I was inspired by it to make a winter garden in my previous garden some years ago now. I visit it every winter. But now Angelsey Abbey is on the winter itinerary too.

  7. Bodger says:

    The birch grove and the avenue of poplars made me greedy for more space and an expensive lighting rig from Santa. It’s been said that you plant a tree for the next generation; I’m grateful for the elegant planning handed down in your atmospheric pictures.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, planting trees is an act of generosity for the next generation. But that doesn’t apply to birch trees. Anglesey Abbey have extended the superb birch grove because before long the existing birches may die. They can live up to 50 years but many don’t reach 20. I have a little birch grove of mature trees at the bottom of my garden. In 6 years it has gone from 12 trees to 6.
      I agree, what fun to have lights like this to play around with.

  8. Flighty says:

    Wonderful pictures of what certainly looks like a rather enchanting evening. xx

  9. Chloris says:

    Thank you Mike. It was difficult to hold the camera steady for long enough for the flash to work so some of them are a little shaky, but never mind it all adds to the atmosphere.

  10. It looks great, especially the poplars (which I love anyway). I’ve never been to see the light show and I know that the tickets sell out extremely quickly. So thanks for the viewing! Maybe next year.

  11. Cathy says:

    What wonderful visit that must have been, Chloris – I was bowled over by the one at Edinburgh Botanical Gardens a couple of years ago but they don’t have AA’s striking birches 😉 Seem to remember that my photographs (compact camera, nothing special) were taken without the flash and they came out OK

  12. Very nice place ! Thank’s for sharing 🙂

  13. Peter Herpst says:

    Stunning way to highlight the natural beauty of the garden. Here they mostly wrap, drape, throw strings of tiny lights on everything, making the lights themselves the focus. In your images, the plants, enhanced by colored light, are the stars of the show. Love it!

  14. Lovely, Chloris. Lights in the garden at this time of year can make such a difference. One Christmas I hope to have lights on our tall spruce tree.

  15. snowbird says:

    How lovely, I did enjoy seeing these pics, each one seemed to get better and better. I imagine it was so much nicer being

  16. Robbie says:

    Wow, I want that light show in my yard, lol, I would love the space to have that show in the middle of winter. That is magical. I thought my solar lights I wrapped around a sumac were pretty this summer at night, lol!
    Prunus serrula bark, I LOVE IT! What interesting plants with drama in the middle of winter:-)

  17. Brian Skeys says:

    I thought the winter garden was magical when we visited in daylight, the lighting adds a whole new dimension to it. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Lavinia Ross says:

    This was a beautiful tour of these gardens at night, and in color, Chloris. The birch grove is my favorite.

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