Membership deal for Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Kew

Delighted to know that buying an annual membership to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire (£31), also entitles you to free access to the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst Place, amongst others (because of their reciprocal arrangements). I know I'll be back to the Hampshire gardens (magnolia time, summer for the Centenary Border, autumn…

Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire

A joint visit today, back to Mottisfont Abbey and on to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire. This Mottisfont photo gallery taken on a rather damp 21st June last year but looking superb. April cold and then lots of rain held back the flowering of the mostly once-blooming rose collection (the main show was…

Sport of Summer Song set for Chelsea 2013

A sport of Summer Song (above) is set to be unveiled at Chelsea this year. Carolyn Knight, who worked with David Austin in the early years, will be remembered with a rose identical to Summer Song in almost all respects save for a distinctive soft gold colouring. Sports are not unusual in the David Austin…

Rose Munstead Wood (English Rose, David Austin)

One of my favourite English Roses, Munstead Wood (named after Gertrude Jekyll's home and garden in Surrey). A dramatic, rich deep and velvety crimson with good fragrance. Flowers - large in size and cupped at first, the colour deepens as the flower matures and we get a glimpse of the stamens amongst the petals. Practically…

Thoughts turn to summer…

This semi-circular border was planted (on bare soil) in April and May 2012 and photographed at the end of July. Plenty of rain helped it quickly establish - the addition of annual cosmos and verbena bonariensis, creating a fuller, more mature feel this early on. Roses are set to take centre stage in the coming…