And after this little teaser, I’ll be opening the flood-gates as I hope to get to Mottisfont tomorrow – the National Trust property in Hampshire and National Collection of Old Roses established by Graham Stuart Thomas (weather and other commitments allowing).
‘Tis June and it is roses, all the way.
Mottisfont World-famous roses
Every year in early summer, thousands of you from all over the world visit our gardens at Mottisfont to see the scented jewel in our crown.
This year our rose experts Head Gardener David Stone and Assistant Head Gardener Jonny Bass are hoping for a bumper rose display. Plenty of rain earlier in the year, followed by a good spell of warm sunny weather in early May has provided perfect conditions for growth, with roses expected to appear from the end of this month.
Nestled in the sheltered surrounds of a large walled garden, the flowers reveal exceptional fragrance and colour. Blooming above richly planted herbaceous borders they flower just once a year, reaching their peak in June. ‘The ramblers on the walls will come out first, but everything is on cue for spectacular displays by early- to mid-June,’ says our Head Gardener David Stone.
Our walled garden is one of the most famous rose gardens in the world, forming a range of colouring, style and fragrance that has never been surpassed. Created by Graham Stuart Thomas in the 1970s – one of the most important figures in 20th century British horticulture – it is home to many varieties that may otherwise have become extinct.
Learn from the expert
If you’re inspired by the scented sights of our gardens and want to try growing roses yourself, here are some top tips from Assistant Head Gardener Jonny Bass, who also reveals his favourite variety.
Healthy root system – Here at Mottisfont we use Mycorrhizal fungi religiously. It’s added into the soil around the roots when planting and will create a beneficial or symbiotic relationship with the plant to help produce new, fibrous roots.
Food – You can’t beat a good dose of well-rotted manure. Either dug into the soil or used as a mulch around the roses it will give excellent results and it’s 100 per cent organic and natural.
Pruning – When pruning your roses don’t be afraid to get stuck in. It’s important to have strong new growth coming up from the base and you should be looking to cut out some of the oldest wood every year.
Recommended by the expert – Personally, I would say that the old rose varieties are my favourite, and I would recommend the Bourbons. They’re beautiful and make a good strong plant. They’re also highly scented and the majority of them are repeat-flowering.
Personal favourite – It would be impossible to choose just one, but certainly one of my favourite roses is the Adelaide d’Orleans, a white rambler which is grown on frames over the paths at Mottisfont. When it’s in full bloom its beauty will stop you in its tracks.
Many of the roses growing here are available for sale, so that you will have the chance to take away a little of the Walled Garden’s scented magic and recreate it in your own garden.