A pilgrimage to these gardens, for which, so far as the roses are concerned, we have Graham Stuart Thomas to thank principally and for the last 40+ years, the National Trust for preserving and enhancing his original collection of Old Roses. Mottisfont holds the National Collection of Shrub Roses. I met Jonny Bass, the head gardener who took over from David Stone last year too – I saw him last year at the Heritage Rose Foundation Conference when David stepped down. Jonny is David’s protege and the youngest Head Gardener within the National Trust.
And there were lots and lots – and lots and lots and lots – of people everywhere. So glad that it is popular but I think I could not have decided to visit on a warm Sunday afternoon in early June. They are open some late evenings this month, so perhaps I’ll need to go back down in the hope of cooler conditions, fewer (much fewer) folk and with better conditions for good photography. There are several galleries here – links below – where most of the roses are named and described more fully. Treat this as an amuse bouche!
These last few pictures are from The Vyne, another National Trust property that provided a decent Cream Tea and a stop-over on the way back from Mottisfont Abbey.