Winter Gardens: In the past most large gardens were not open to the public during the winter. I suppose it was thought that gardens were only of interest in direct proportion to the quantity of flowers on show. However the low light of the short days and a touch of frost can show a formal garden at its absolute best. The structure is laid bare, the eye is not distracted by the decorative details. Crisply cut topiary and hedges contrast with pale fluffy seedheads become the main event The National Trust opens many of its largest properties all year round, providing for those who are looking for something to do during the winter holidays.