Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mottisfont HRF Trip to England, Day Two.

Day Two of my trip to England for the Heritage Rose Foundation conference was filled with inspiring presentations by expert rose gardeners.  (Fair warning, the photos in this post are from my visit to RHS Garden Wisley on Day One, and they have nothing to do with what we did on Day Two.)

Lily pond at Wisley

HRF President, Stephen Scanniello, opened the day with a few words, and then he introduced our first speaker, David Stone.  David is retiring as the head gardener at Mottisfont Abbey after 37 years, and he is responsible for much of the beauty that is to be found in the gardens at Mottisfont ... which is where we spent all day on Day Three.  After hearing him speak, those of us who had never been to Mottisfont were very excited to have the chance to see it in person.

Arches with Rosa mulliganii at Wisley.

Detail of Rosa Mulliganii at Wisley.

Fountain and rose arches at Wisley.

Next up was John Wood, Head Gardener at National Trust Hinton Ampner (which would be our first stop on Day Four).  The garden at Hinton Ampner is fairly formal, very different from the one at Mottisfont, reflecting the personalities of the previous owners of the property along with some changes and improvements that John is responsible for.

View to a shady area at Wisley.

I'm not all about roses, here is a Hellebore at Wisley that I really liked!

One of the rose gardens at Wisley.

After lunch, we heard a program by Maurizio Usai, a garden designer in Sardinia and a frequent contributor to the discussions on GardenWeb's Antique Rose Forum.  Maurizio showed us how he designed his garden and how it evolves throughout the year, taking best advantage of Sardinia's Mediterranean climate.



Another rose garden at Wisley.

Our next speaker was Jonny Bass, who is replacing David Stone as the head gardener at Mottisfont.  His program, "The Conservation of a Legacy," detailed his vision for honoring the history in the gardens at Mottisfont and showed how he plans to continue the work of David Stone, and of Graham Stuart Thomas before him.

A rose that caught my eye at Wisley.

A drift of David Austin's 'Morning Mist' at Wisley.

Detail of Morning Mist.

Our final speaker of the day was Peter Boyd, an expert on Scots Roses (Rosa spinosissima and its hybrids).  I admit that I had little interest in this corner of the rose world, but that quickly changed as I saw Peter's beautiful photos and heard about the history of this tough class of rose.  I have one spinosissima hybrid rose in my collection, Double Blush Burnet, which was sent to me by a kind reader from the site of her family's homestead in the upper Midwest.

I never have had an appreciation for Flower Carpet roses till I saw this one

'Flower Carpet Red Velvet' at Wisley

The last event of the evening was a delicious dinner in honor of David Stone.  

I wish this rose was available in the US.

There were so many wonderful things for sale in Wisley's garden center.  It was torture for us to only look and not buy.

It was a long day, but one in which I learned SO much!  As I turned in for the night, I was really excited for our tour of Mottisfont the next day ... which is the subject of my next post ... stay tuned.


  1. I'am officially in LOVE with 'Morning Mist'! :) Lovely pictures all! Hugs! deb

  2. I am truly enjoying taking this tour with you, Connie. What an amazing experience this must have been for you all. :) I love seeing the landscaping and all the various roses. Can hardly wait for Part 3. :)

    xoxo laurie

  3. Thank you for sharing this all with us.

    I love Rosa Mulliganii and
    'Morning Mist' and the red rose above 'Morning Mist' in your post.

    I 'love' roses period.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  4. Oh, what wonderful photos - I love them all! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to share them. I'll look forward to seeing more. I'm thankful for your blog as I've just created space for a new front cottage garden and roses are first on my list! I'm so sorry I did not get to make this spring's rose tour at your property, as I had so hoped to attend. Next year is a must! Cindy from

  5. Seriously---green with envy...!
    Could you send me a bouquet of those Young Princess roses. ; D

  6. So glad we get to travel with you! Lovely pictures!

  7. Lovely tour, Connie. as you know, I admire people who can grow roses so well. and I love to see roses doing so well.
    Morning Mist is a beaut, but then again, so are they all.
    Your 9-acre grounds sound magical.
    Best to you and your family, and your house and garden too!

  8. Thank you for the virtual tour, Connie, you are so lucky to have seen these beautiful gardens. Funny how many people mentioned "Morning Mist", it is my favorite, too :).


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