Winter gardening tips to prepare for Spring from Bowood’s Head Gardener, David Glass

Now we are past the turning point of the new year it’s acceptable to dream about Spring. Almost imperceptibly the days are getting longer, and the first bulbs are starting to poke through. It’s a sight that never fails to warm the heart.

The weather might still be too cold to spend hours outdoors, but now is the time to start planning in earnest for the garden year ahead. Think about the structure of your space and what changes you would like to make in Spring.

Successes and failures of last summer

What were the successes and failures of last summer? Many of us spent a great deal longer on our gardens last year due to the pandemic, so maybe you just fancy changing things up. It’s also worth considering how you want your garden to look a year from now

Piet Oudolf’s Field

Whilst Bowood is a more classically inspired garden you could do worse than take a leaf out of ‘Piet Oudolf’s Field’ in nearby Somerset. He is the champion of growing perennials that also look good in winter. Bare stems and branches can still be beautiful if carefully chosen, for example.

Planting Planning

While you are planning, put in your orders for seeds and young bedding plants, the cut off is often the end of February. Check vulnerable plants protection against late frosts and make sure your staking hasn’t been damaged by the high winds we have had.

Tie up loose growth and make sure the older cord isn’t rubbing. If you grow early vegetables, we’d recommend you put cloches in places now to start warming up the ground.

Seasonal produce is at the heart of our menus so we always try to plan with this in mind. In our kitchen garden we’ll be sowing carrots, peas and beans as well as my favourite: beets.

Winter Pruning

Make sure you finish your winter pruning before any Spring growth gets seriously underway and most important of all don’t forget to feed the robin.

While you are outside enjoying that crisp winter air, make sure you keep an eye out for other wildlife. Roe deer are often spotted from the gardens and even the guest bedrooms.

Winter Birds

Across the sparse winter fields hares are always a magical sight, especially if they are boxing. One of my favourite UK mammals.

Look out too for the dynamic flight of the kestrel, they are normally spotted hovering over open country, body stock still but wings going like the clappers. They have a beautiful buff underside streaked with black.

If you are really lucky you might see even spot one of the county’s strangest birds: the woodcock. They love the damp woodlands around here but the RSPB have reported them in back gardens recently, possibly attracted by house lights. Large and short legged with a long beak they migrate from Finland and Russia to enjoy our warmer winters.

Bowood Gardens

The gardens here re-open on the 1st April.

Even better though will be one of my tours, including a sneak peek at the vertical garden within Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s normally private space.

Visit Bowood Gardens

What’s On at Bowood – The Spring Edit

With winter well and truly behind us, our attention now turns to spring! A lighter and brighter time of year, spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the better weather.

Here at Bowood, our events calendar is more energised than ever. We look forward to welcoming families, couples, groups, and individuals to our luxury hotel as well as Bowood House & Gardens.

If you are going to be our guest this month, then you’ll be pleased to discover what we have in store. We have spring events for various different people- of all ages and interests. Our events include children’s Easter events, a family Sunday lunch, and much more.

Take a look at our line-up of exciting events this spring.

Easter Junior Golf Camps

Whether or not your youngster has competed in our Junior Open or is just starting out, our Easter Junior Golf Camps offer another opportunity for young players to be let loose on our world-class PGA golf course.

Well, not quite “let loose”. In fact, the children will be coached by Wiltshire County under-14’s coach, Gregg Hood.

Gregg is a PGA- qualified professional and will be coaching the young players to improve their understanding of the long game. They’ll alos get the opportunity to spend some of the day practicing on our Three-Hole PGA Academy Course.

The camps will be taking place Tuesday 9th April and Wednesday 17th April, 9am-3pm. There will also be a golf camp in May Half Term for those who would like to continue to develop their skills, or who simply can’t make the April camps.

We look forward to seeing what the junior players can do. The aim is to enhance their putting, pitching, and chipping skills—rounding them as players.

Big Easter Egg Trail

Easter wouldn’t be the same without an Easter egg hunt (or two).

The second in our choice of Easter activities for children, Bowood’s Big Easter Egg Trail is taking place from 13th- 22nd April 2019.

The trail is set to be the ultimate Easter egg hunt. Participants will not only be expected to find large (and delicious) Easter eggs, they’ll also be required to crack the code to unlock the Easter basket at the heart of the trail.

The Big Easter Egg Trail follows on from our Easter Bunny Trail (6th-12th April) 2019.

Good luck to all the explorers coming to Bowood to crack the all-important code.

Easter Sunday Lunch

We couldn’t deprive our guests of an Easter Sunday Lunch.

On 21st April, we’re offering either a traditional carvery or a la Carte lunch for the whole family. With our Easter egg hunt taking place in the morning too, there couldn’t be a better day to enjoy a delicious midday meal with your loved ones.

Tour of the Private Walled Garden

The private walled garden is a spectacular place to visit. It is open to groups and individuals to book an exclusive tour. The first tour is taking place on 24th April 2019 and tours will run until early October.

Choose from the following tour options:

  • A guided tour with tea and coffee on arrival and a two-course lunch served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 11:00am. Cost £35.00 per person.
  • A guided tour followed by cream tea, served in the Stables Restaurant. Arrival 14:00pm. Cost £28.50 per person.

Learn Golf in a Day

Don’t have any golfing experience but tempted to give it a go?

Then our Learn Golf in a Day event this spring is the perfect opportunity to kickstart your golfing career.

For just £50 per person, you will receive 4 hours of coaching from one of our PGA professionals.

The day will cover all the golfing essentials and includes refreshments too. There are various dates to book on our website.

Writers’ Workshop for Beginners with novelist Venetia Welby

Venetia Welby is a writing coach and author of “Mother of Darkness”. And, this spring 2019, she is coming to Bowood to give a creative writing workshop, with first-time writers in mind.

Perhaps there is a novel in you, waiting to come out?

For £98.00 per person, Venetia Welby will be on hand to answer any questions, as well as providing a comprehensive writing tutorial.

The great thing about having the workshop here at Bowood is the fact that our grounds will become a platform for creativity during a writing task included within the course.

Ladies’ Lunch with Sonja Heath

Sonja Heath is the Head of Crime Prevention for Wiltshire and is coming to Bowood to enjoy lunch. Come and join her for £26 per person. The cost includes a two-course lunch.

Spanish Tapas Wine Dinner

How about Spanish tapas and Spanish wine to kick-start your summer? A tasty selection of vintage wine accompanied by tasty tapas in our Sherbourne Restaurant. Hola Summer!

The Spring Bowood Classic Car & Motorcycle Show

After last year’s success, The Spring Bowood Classic Car & Motorcycle Show will be back on Sunday 5th May 2019.

Expect vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles, laid out on the lawn of Bowood Estate.

Bowood Hotel’s 10th Birthday Summer Ball

We’re excited to be putting on a Summer Ball to celebrate our 10th birthday. We’d love for you to come and celebrate with us!

The cost of the evening is £49. This includes a glass of fizz on arrival, live music and a delicious four-course meal.

Tractor Ted Big Machines Weekend 2019

A fantastic day out for the family, Tractor Ted Big Machines Weekend is taking pace from 25th to 27th May 2019.

Tractor tug-of-war and slurry soak are just two of the activities taking place. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.


RunFestRun is a HUGE run party, welcoming top running talent like Paula Radcliffe and Chrissie Wellington, as well as music stars like Razorlight and Olly Murs.

As well as welcoming first-class guests, RunFestRun visitors will have exclusive access to areas of Bowood Estate usually closed to the public.

The festival will take place 31st May to 2nd June 2019.

What else is going on in Wiltshire?

And if the events above aren’t enough to put a spring in your step this season, Wiltshire has even more to offer.

Here are just a few more events happening in Wiltshire this spring:

Easter Crafts

A choice for young creatives out there, Easter Crafts are taking place at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham.

Enjoy, crafts, card-making and an Easter trail around the building.

You may even find a movie or theatre production you’d like to see too.

Chippenham Folk Festival

Set right in the heart of Wiltshire, the Chippenham Folk Festival is Chippenham’s biggest annual event.

The folk festival is now in its 43rd year and visitors can expect to see more than 200 events, all associated with folk song, music, dance, and traditions.

Easter at Bowood

We’re looking forward to welcoming all our guests here at Bowood. If any of the events above have taken your fancy, then please don’t hesitate to contact us to make a booking. Likewise, if you would like some alternative options or would like to find out more, we are happy to help.


View our full events calendar here at Bowood this year…