15 Favourites – Roses

My fifteen favourite roses

Mottisfont Rose Gardens

Overblown, blowsy, beautiful, fragrant, lush, a little ragged, absolutely in need of some serious dead-heading - but equally glamorous and hopelessly romantic, there are no rose gardens quite like Mottisfont. Soulful, they inhabit the walled gardens of this ancient priory, clambering through the many venerable apple and pear tress, hopelessly constrained by box or lavender,…

Mottisfont Abbey – a look back at the rose gardens in June 2014 (It’s raining again in 2016)

Set by the banks of the crystal River Test, cutting through the chalk downland, sits Mottisfont Priory, dating to the 13th Century and with a colourful history right up to the 20th Century with Maud and Gilbert Russell bringing life again to the old house and the National Trust subsequently taking the House and Gardens…

Roses, roses, roses and a long, long (rose-clothed) Pergola at Kew Gardens… galleries here and some moving pictures!

This long pergola with brick pillars and timber beams is clothed with some beautifully trained rambling and climbing roses. Beautiful monsters like Rosa filipes Kiftsgate ought to swamp the entire structure and much else besides but with the love and careful treatment these specimens are given, a multitude of flowers hug the cross beams and…

A return to Mottisfont Abbey; an Old Rose Pilgrimage

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…

Rose Pruning Masterclass – with a little help from my friends….

Two pieces here, very wordy (though by no means not all my words) first from the RHS Magazine, followed by a wander through their Pruning and Training Book. Quite a lot that you might need to know about pruning summer-flowering and repeat-flowering Old Roses, what I still call Hybrid Teas and Floribunda roses, Climbers and…

Amongst the rose beds, some shining examples at Kew Gardens (or rather, the old ones are sometimes the best!)

Pat Austin (the orange) and Princess Anne (above, in shades of pinky-purple) - both from David Austin and looking, in every bed, very happy and healthy. Cerise Bouquet, below The white hydrangea-like heads of shrub rose, Sally Holmes Reine des Violettes (above and below) Morning Mist, from David Austin roses, always impossibly healthy. A big…

The Mottisfont Pictorial Rose Catalogue continues with another update…

Spong One of the most famous sports of Rosa x centifolia, originating in 1805, probably in England. It will reach 4ft (1.2m), bears typically rounded leaves of its parent and neat flowers about twice the size of De Meaux (also a sport of Rosa x centifolia), with the same good fragrance. Its failing is that…

Through the centuries – roses at Mottisfont Abbey

Hippolyte White foxgloves come into their own in statuesque quality in contrast to the dark purplish colour of rose Hippolyte. This is a Gallica hybrid for which we have no date. Strangely it is almost prickle-less and in this way as in the shape and colour of the flowers Gallica ancestry is indicated. Reaching 5…