Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mottisfont HRF Trip to England, Day Three

On our the third day in England, after all the build-up and anticipation created during the presentations on Day Two of the HRF conference, it was FINALLY time for us to board the bus and head for our tour of the grounds and gardens at Mottisfont Abbey.

This first garden within the walls began as Mottisfont's car park.

From the Mottisfont web site:  Mottisfont's story is told through the people who have lived here for 800 years, from the Augustinian Canons in 1201 to sparkling 20th-century society hostess Maud Russell.

This way to the walled garden ... the reason why we are here!

The border on this south-facing wall contains China and Tea roses.

'Golden Wings' is beside the doorway.

Mottisfont began as a priory, so the first 'family' there was a religious community of Augustinian canons.

When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries when he broke from the Catholic Church, Mottisfont became the home of Tudor statesman Sir William Sandys in 1536.

Lucky shot, getting this bee in mid-flight over this poppy.

These rustic trellis structures with Ramblers added height and enclosure.

With Georgian times came the Mill family and transformation of house and estate.  Hunting, shooting and fishing became the main activity while elegant stone and the remains of the priory combined to make the facade of today's house.

Cool color bed, with its brilliant combination of perennials and roses.

Stachys byzantium 'Cotton Boll' was one of my very favorite things in the garden.

What a wonderful place to sit and smell the roses on a sunny day!

The white rose is 'Madame Hardy'.

The end of the nineteenth century saw Mottisfont let to wealthy banker Meinertzhagen.  His ten children enjoyed family life here to the fullest, the estate was their outdoor playground.

'Blush Rambler' and 'Cerise Bouquet' planted behind this vintage jar and trained onto the brick walls.

The white rose is 'Felicite et Perpetue'

The arrival of Maud and Gilbert Russell in 1934 made Mottisfont the centre of fashionable artistic and political circles.  Gilbert Russell died in 1942.  Anxious that Mottisfont should be preserved, Maud went to the National Trust and, after long negotiations, ownership of Mottisfont, including the 2,080 acre estate, came into the care of the National Trust in 1957.

Statue of Acteon and his hound.

The oldest and largest London Plane tree in England.

Imagine the view from this window out into the garden!

From THIS article in 'The Telegraph':  Mottisfont's garden is Graham Stuart Thomas's masterpiece.  It brings together his strong sense of design, his immense knowledge of plants, his love of roses, and his genius for combining plants in attractive colour combinations.  On the walls are old Noisettes and Climbing Tea roses, plus a few of the best Wichurana and Multiflora Ramblers.  In the beds beneath them are Hybrid Perpetuals, China roses, Scots roses, a few Rugosa hybrids and Bourbon roses.  More structure comes from the box edging, occasional pieces of trellis work and tall, clipped yews.

Rustic arbor with roses and clematis in the background.

This structure is a circle of pillars and arches.

The pillars alternate 'Bleu Magenta' and 'Debutante' rambler roses.

Our group arrived at Mottisfont early in the day.  We were divided into four groups, and each group in turn was taken on each of four tours ... a tour about the gardens and roses led by David Stone, a tour about the perennials led by Joan Taylor, a tour of the grounds led by Gary and (I apologize because I have totally forgotten your name), and a tour by Jonny Bass to show us how he plans to preserve the gardens and honor the legacy of the head gardeners before him.  In between tours, we had coffee and shortbread, a delicious luncheon, and cream tea with scones and clotted cream.  There was time left at the end of the day for us to explore on our own.

What a lovely view through the wall into the garden!

Clipped yews and box hedge, with rustic arbors and 'Adelaide de Orleans' roses.

Leaving for the day, I was struck by the beauty of the view beyond this shepherd's hut.

As I wandered and marveled at Mottisfont's expertly designed gardens, with the roses and shrubs and perennials, I am inspired to try to create a bit of the same magic feeling in my own garden.


  1. So beautiful! Your photos are fabulous, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time!!


  2. I KNOW you can do it!!! :) Thank you so much for the tour! Hugs! deb

  3. You have already started creating 'magic' in your own gardens, and will continue to do so given time.

    What a lovely tour and my favorite photos were: the bee in flight over the poppy, 'Blush Rambler' and 'Cerise Bouquet' and the vintage jar, the old, huge tree, and the shepherds hut. All of the roses were beautiful, and there is something wonderful about roses against a brick back ground. I loved the arched entryway into the walled garden too.

    Thank you again for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  4. O-M-G...I am in love with this garden. To be there and see it in person must have been absolutely wonderful!!! I'm loving your picture tour!

  5. Best of luck in your garden creations. Thanks so much for including us in the tour. It is fabulous.

  6. Hi Connie! I've been seeing links to your posts about your trip on FB, but waited until I've had time that I could sit and look at your photos and read the posts. I'm so glad I did. I don't even know what to say -- What incredibly amazing and beautiful trip and photos! I share in your excitement and awe at the magnificent gardens and flowers and their history. What an inspirational trip!!

  7. STUNNING. All of it. The roses, perennials, history, architecture...all of it.


Thanks for stopping by and reading what I share. Comments are welcome and very much appreciated. Spam and trolls are not!

Related Posts with Thumbnails