Step into the walled gardens at Mottisfont in June and you'll be met with unsurpassed fragrance and colour from thousands of roses. Every year in early summer, thousands of visitors from around the world flock to see these unique gardens come to life.
Mottisfont is home to the National Collection of old-fashioned roses - you'll find over five hundred varieties of this special flower nestled in our walled gardens. These grow above big herbaceous borders, which provide changing displays from June - September.
Created by Graham Stuart Thomas - one of the most important figures in 20th-century British horticulture - in the 1970s, the walled gardens were chosen to house many varieties that may otherwise have become extinct. With an artist's eye and consummate knowledge, Graham Stuart Thomas designed a garden that would combine roses with a mix of perennials to give a season-long display.
A gateway set in sunny rose-covered wall leads to the first rose garden, with deep box-lined borders full of rambling and climbing roses and clematis on the high brick wall behind.
The main paths crossing the site converge on a central round pond and fountain, surrounded by eight clipped Irish yews. Long borders brim with plants chosen to complement and underplant the roses. They also extend the season, providing colour, shape and scent before the roses bloom and after their petals fall. In June the roses are accompanied by striking spires of white foxgloves.
The northern section of the walled garden, with its wide paths, is deliberately planted with a 'cool' colour palette to provide a counterpoint to the central rose garden.