Mottisfont

Deep in the Hampshire countryside, in the midst of quintessentially English villages with thatched roofs and timber frames lies an unassuming place, where the crystal clear waters of the River Test babble by and majestic planes and willows gently sway along its banks. This place is an old Country house with a Victorian walled garden, restored and open to the public as a tourist attraction. This is no ordinary historic property though, this is a place with international renown for rose aficionados, this is Mottisfont.

Mottisfont Rose Border

Mottisfont; the very name sends shivers down my spine. The water of the chalk stream that flows by the house is uniquely clear, the trees are ancient and massive, having stood there for hundreds of years; the immaculate lawns gently roll with the countryside and the walled garden houses the National Collection of old fashioned roses.

It’s June and almost the whole collection is in full flower, I went to go and see them at their best; as did a great many other people.

There were so many flowering roses the overall effect was almost overwhelming. It was a relief to come back home to a much more spartan garden (my own work-in-progress). Of course, I’m not short of roses either, with climbing roses, ramblers, shrub roses and patio roses spread throughout the garden. They are also now coming into flower and are adorning various borders, arches and obelisks with beautiful blooms that I will be sure to capture in a later post. The fact remains though that there’s very little that can hold a candle against the sheer flowering splendour that is Mottisfont in June.

13 Comments


  1. You old romantic, you! I have never been to Mottisfont, but I do love old gardens. Look up Tintinhull, Somerset, that has a lovely “round the year” garden (NT), but don’t DARE visit without coming the 30 minutes to Chez Mac, or I’d never forgive you!!

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    1. Hello Mrs Mac, I’ll look up Tintinhull but Somerset is way across the country from us but all we need to do it head down the M3 and then sit on the A303 until we get there. It’ll be a road trip and it’ll certainly involve a stay in the abode and surrounding pleasure grounds chez Mac!

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  2. Oh, so beautiful. The rose gardens I’ve seen in New Mexico have been sad things — more informative (lots of labels and carefully pruned, leggy canes) rather than lavish displays of beauty. A pity, because roses do really well here. Thank you for sharing all those lovely photos, Sunil!

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    1. Hello Stacy, wonderful to see you again, Mottisfont is for sheer unadulterated rose-addiction pleasure as opposed to anything educational – that’s how I saw it at least. It really is well looked after and has a loose informal feel as opposed to rigidly kept borders with plants pruned to military precision and that’s what’s so good about it. I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour!

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  3. I am not as much of a rose enthusiast as you are, but still I would be thrilled to see this garden at the peak of rose season. Your photos are the next best thing, thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Hello Jason, I noticed that roses don’t feature prominently in your garden and writing, I hope that by looking through the gallery pictures, you might be tempted to expand on what you currently have?

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    1. Hello Alain, the sheer voluptuousness and opulence of the roses with the sunny weather and vibrant atmosphere made it a really special day out. I enjoyed it very much.

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  4. WOW! I would have been wandering around like a drooling fool the whole time. I just took out one of my favorite roses, Westerland, because I couldn’t control the blackspot without using chemicals, which I refuse to do. I’m down to 5 roses but that’s ok. It makes the ones I do have even more special. 🙂

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    1. Hello Tammy, that’s what I was doing! I was also wondering how on earth they had managed to keep the black spot from overrunning the garden whereas mine slowly develop it over the course of the season. I remember reading about your Westerland rose some time back, it’s a shame you had to take it out but that’s opened up a space for your next-new-favourite plant!

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  5. All those roses look wonderful! Even this second-hand tour of Mottisfont is wonderful inspiration as I contemplate growing my first roses.

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    1. Hello Jean, I’m glad I managed you inspire you through the pictures I took. I think you may have to be careful about the hardiness of the roses you plant though as your cold winters may be too much for some varieties.

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