Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise IV

For me a nice way to celebrate my fourth blog anniversary, which was on January, 1st this year, is to post about one of the most famous and beautiful rose gardens in the world, again: Mottisfont Abbey. This garden is very dear to my heart and maybe you develop a soft spot for it, too.

I posted about this garden already three times (for your convenience, please find the links to the previous posts attached at the end of this entry), but we are still in the second walled garden, which contains a lot of mature climbing roses fanned out artfully on the old brick walls. For many roses I couldn't find a name tag, but when I did, of course, I let you know.

The photo above shows a well grown specimen of 'Celine Forestier', a light yellow Noisette, bred by Victor Trouillard (France, 1842). The rose collection at Mottisfont Abbey holds a lot of roses, that I have never seen in person, like this one. Besides the extraordinary beauty of the garden itself, this is part of the special appeal that it has for me.

Another unknown to me beautifully grown climbing rose. Some of the climbing roses there were huge, like the one above. They really seem to like the sheltered conditions in the walled gardens that they are growing in. I always wonder, if the gardeners at Mottisfont Abbey do special stuff to improve the quality of the soil, to be able to grow such magnificent roses.

But not only outstanding roses are grown in Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens. There are also many fascinating perennials to be admired like this light yellow, almost chartreuse colored scabiosa variety, which I liked very much.

Here is a shot of the whole plant. It is unusual tall for a scabiosa and needed to be staked, but it is such a lovely addition to the border.

I liked this garden scene containing a tall pruned yew, yellow phlomis, lady's mantle and a cerise opulently flowering peony.

This is 'Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison', a Bourbon, that was discovered by Charles Bennett (United Kingdom, 1893). I always have been fascinated by this light, soft pink rose with the double, flat, quartered blooms and hope it is in my future to grow at least the shrub form by myself.

Yet another shot along one of the walled rose borders. I love that at Mottisfont Abbey roses are not just grown by themselves, but they are shown off by beautiful perennials surrounding them.

And the view is as lovely looking into the other direction.

This climbing rose shows well, how professionally they are pruned and trained at Mottisfont so that the roses can show off their full potential when they bloom.

I loved this color combination of the violet rose, the pink and white columbine (aquilegia) and the unknown to me blue flowering plant.

This beauty is called 'Oeillet Parfait', a lilac Damask, from an unknown breeder from 1841. Now, this is a rose that I hadn't even heard of before I saw it at Mottisfont. So exciting! I just love the color and form of the blooms.

This rose seemed to want to bloom much later than the others that I am showing in this post and was full of hundreds of little cute buds. It must have been a great joy to see it in full bloom!

Again, no identity for this one, but I love the burgundy stripes.

Another brick wall with climbing roses trained on it. As you can see many roses do fabulous in Mottisfont Abbey, but even there not all of them do equally well, just like in everyone else's garden. It is almost a relieve, isn't it?

'Mme. Isaac Pereire', a Bourbon, bred by Armand Garcon, is one of my most favorite roses. Its deep pink colored, sumptuous, large and very full blooms have an irresistible charm to me. But the real astonishing thing about this rose is its exquisite fragrance. If you have ever smelled the very strong, pleasing, raspberry fragrance of a bloom of this rose warmed by the sun, you will never be able to forget it. It is just one of the joys in live!

One plant combination that I find particularly charming: white foxgloves, cerise peonies, and blue irises. Just wonderful!

This rose, 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain', a Hybrid Perpetual, bred by Francois Lacharme (France, 1865) was one of the roses that didn't thrive at Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens, but, oh my gosh, the color! One of the most exquisite shades of a violet dark red that I have ever seen. Completely captivating! My photo does not do this rose justice, it was so much more lovely in person.

Another of the many beautiful peonies blooming in the garden.

I really would love to know what the name of this rose is. To me it looks very much like 'Cl. Devoniensis', a Tea rose that I grow in a container in my own garden.

Here is a close-up of the blooms. Do you have any guesses?

Not only roses were thriving at Mottisfont Abbey, foxgloves loved it there as well.

I was so smitten by this white variety. It fits in everywhere and simply lighten things up in such an easy going way.

I think 'Climbing Lady Hillingdon', a Tea rose with large saturated yellow blooms, discovered by Elisha J. Hicks (United Kingdom, 1917) was one of the most elegant and impressive roses that we saw at Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens.

Here is a close-up of the blooms of  'Cl. Lady Hillingdon'. You can clearly recognize the typical drooping bloom form of Tea roses with the edges of the petals curling backwards. Unfortunately this flower shape is currently very much out of fashion, because many people prefer the upright Hybrid Tea flower shape as the ideal rose bloom form, but I truly hope, that Tea roses will have a comeback. Teas certainly have their very unique charm and beauty that deserves to be preserved and survive.

One more shot of this gorgeous specimen of  'Cl. Lady Hillingdon'. Same rose as above, but photographed from the other side.

Another rose that I had never hear off before I visited Mottisfont Abbey is 'Mrs. Paul', a light pink climbing Bourbon, bred by George Paul (United Kingdom, 1891). Not a vigorous rose in comparison to others at Mottisfont Abbey,..

...but the stunning large pale pink scalloped blooms make it totally worth growing.

If you are interested and want to view the previous posts that I have published about this garden, here are the links:

Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise III
Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise II
Mottisfont Abbey - a rose lover's paradise I

Since, as I said in the introduction to this post, my blog has just celebrated its fourth anniversary, I would like to take the chance and thank all of you my dear readers for visiting and also for all the kind comments that you have been leaving. They always make my day! I hope you will join me for another year of blogging. I am really looking forward to it!

See you in the garden!



  1. Happy annivesary! I really like the wall of roses! So beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Happy Anniversary Christina!
    Planting perennials alongside roses enhances the beauty of both. I haven't been to Mottisfont yet, but it is definitely on my list for this year.

  3. I can clearly see why you love this garden Christina, it's a very pretty and charming English garden! Happy Blog Anniversary and looking forward to following you on your future adventures :)

  4. Happy 4th bogging anniversary dear Christina. I always enjoy visiting your blog. This was another wonderful post of this beautiful rose garden. Thank you for sharing. I've added two more roses to my wish list because of this post. Celine Forestier and Lady Hillingdon. :-)

    Have a wonderful week there in your own lovely rose filled gardens ~ FlowerLady

  5. Tu as l'art et la manière de nous offrir des reportages exquis sur les beaux jardins que tu visites. Je me souviens des premiers reportages avec toutes ces roses alléchantes et délicieuses dont nous sommes toi et moi si friandes. Je souhaite à ton blog un bel anniversaire, 4 ans c'est le bel âge. J'espère que je lirai encore et toujours les belles aventures de ton jardin.
    Belle soirée

  6. Liebe Christina,

    da gratuliere ich ganz herzlich zum 4. Bloggeburtstag - und was würde besser passen, als ein Bericht über diese tolle Gartenanlage mit den vielen Königinnen der Blumen!
    Mein absoluter Favorit ist die namenlose Schönheit mit den burgunderfarbenen Streifen - die ist einfach traumhaft schön.
    Ich freue mich auf ein weiteres Bloggerjahr mit Dir und Deine traumhaften Rosenbilder, ja und wenn Dein Familienzuwachs auch mal im Bild ist, freut es mich umso mehr :-))

    Liebe Grüße

  7. I always love your Mottisfont posts. It's such a beautiful place. I don't know if you can get BBC iPlayer there but we've just had a lovely series on TV "Great British Garden Revival" Series 2, episode 1 starts with old roses and is based at Mottisfont. I'll happilly send you a DVD copy if you want. xx

    1. Debbie, thanks so much, I feel especially happy that a British gardener likes my Mottisfont Abbey posts :-)! Also many thanks for making me aware of the BBC series "Great British Garden Revival" and the show about Mottisfont Abbey. I will see, if I can't find a way to get a hold of it. It is incredible generous of you, that you offered to sent me a DVD copy. It really toughed my heart! Thank you so much again!

    2. Hi Christina, the BBC series "Great British Garden Revival" was amazing, have recorded all episodes and are not finished watching them all but I have seen the one Debbie is referring to. You can see the short clip from Mottisfont Abbey on YouTube here:

      And here is an hour long program about 'Great Gardens of England' featuring 3 famous gardens, one of which is Mottisfont Abbey:

      Have a good week,

  8. Happy blog anniversary Christina! The garden is beautiful. I wish I had a place to grow such wonderful espaliered roses. That violet red variety is scrumptious!

  9. Un vrai plaisir de regarder tes 4 reportages sur Mottisfont.
    Longue vie à ton blog très agréable à lire !

  10. Mottisfont Abbey, so beautiful. I should not dare to name your unknown roses, there are so many look a likes. But the high scabiosa flower is named Cephalaria gigantea and is indeed family of Scabiosa.
    I enjoyed this lovely rosy post!

  11. Congratulations on your blog anniversary Christina - one of the lovely things about Mottisfont Abbey apart from all the gorgeous roses are the lovely old red brick walls which set all of the flowers off so beautifully.

  12. My favourite would have to be the one with the burgundy stripes. The scent in the air must be incredible!

  13. Thanks for the virtual tour and happy anniversary! Cheers!

  14. Happy bloganniversary Christina. I will always be with you on your blog. I hope one day I can visit this beautiful rosegarden in England. The yellow flowers of the scabiosa are really great. I have it in my garden, visited by many insects. Not only the flowers are beautiful but also the leaves are great. I can sent you some seeds if you want to later in the year.
    Have a wonderful day Christna.

  15. Dear Christine, what a lovely post! I like this garden also and visited it once. You where at the very best moment, roses all flowering at their peak. I was a little later in the season, they were deadheading the roses. But I remember the scent of the roses. Groetjes,


  16. Happy blog anniversary Christina - and what a lovely breath of summer roses in January. Apart from individuals that look good (especially liked Mrs Paul at the end) the thing that struck me most was how beautifully trained and tied in the wall-grown specimens are. Made me a bit ashamed of my own! I hope your rose year and 5th year of blogging is splendid!

  17. Oh yes, that is a Rose-lover's paradise! Sigh. That's what Wisconsin looks like in June. Thanks for brightening my day! :)

  18. Thanks for sharing this! I visit you blog several times a week for a rose "fix", living vicariously through you and your sunny California climate. We live in Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan, winters are long and gray. It helps so much to see sunshine, beautiful roses and a well tended garden. Happy Blog Anniversary - your garden is an inspiration to me. - Cole

  19. I wonder did your OH (if that's who was visiting with you) have to put in much effort to drag you away from these beautiful gardens Christina. Devine!
    The blue flower you didn't have an ID for is Polemonium caeruleum, I think. Or should I say hope - I have planted it nearby R. Rhapsody in blue but hadn't thought to consider Aquilegia with it too. I might steal this idea.
    Happy Blog Anniversary, what a wonderful post to celebrate with.

  20. Happy anniversary Christina, we have been blogging for just as long! I can see why you love this place so much, I could possibly spend every day here and not get tired of looking at all the roses. It is pruning time in my garden so I won’t have rose for a good 2 months now, always a bit sad but it has to be done. I am looking for a climbing rose for my arch, the Dregea sinensis is coming out and being replaced by a climbing rose – or possibly two. So many to choose from! One part is south facing, the other part north facing that’s why I was thinking of 2 different, but short roses. Must be in white, cream, pink shades and prolific bloomers with little or no blackspot. Suggestions are welcome :-)
    Take care, Helene.

    1. Since commenting on your post I saw the program "Great British Garden Revival" and especially the episode about roses. I got so inspired that I wrote to David Austin Roses, sent them photos of my garden and the arch and explained what I wanted to achieve and a bit about aspect and soil etc. I got a reply the next day!
      I told them I have wanted to grow Gertrude Jekyll for a long time and asked if they thought it would be suitable – and for a suggestion for a second rose to complement it. They replied that it would be fine and suggested The Generous Gardener for the north-facing part. I have put in an order already, can’t wait to see them in bloom!

  21. Wonder if I have to go there sometime...
    'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain' is fantastic! The Scabiosa look-alike is Cephalaria gigantea, easy to grow form seed.

  22. Christina, this is such a wonderful garden; I can see why you are so captivated by it. The roses are scrumptious. I love Souvenir de la Malmaison. This rose does well here in Alabama, and I have considered finding a place for it, though my own garden is mostly wooded. Souvenir du Docteur Jamain also immediately caught my attention. I agree the color is fabulous!

  23. Happy Blogging Birthday Christina ! Here's to many more! I always enjoy your posts and look forward to reading them.After reading this post, the garden is now on list of great gardens to visit, as it looks amazing.It is also such a pleasure to be reminded of summer on this cold frosty day.

  24. So beautiful place to visit, I visited a place in ireland last spring it look simliarlike this.
    The light yellow flower, I just had that one last year.
    Nice to see all your pictures.

    Have a nice week, best regards Ewa :)

  25. Liebe Christina,
    jaaaa, die englischen Gärten sind ein Traum!!
    Deshalb möchte ich auch mal unbedingt auf die
    südlichen, englischen Inseln!
    GGGGLG Karin

  26. Christina,
    ja auch dir herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Blog-Geburtstag. Vier Jahre - oh, das muss ich erst einmal durchhalten. Und schon wieder schaffst du einen so einnehmenden Post! Diese Gärten sind einfach nur ein Traum! Deine Bilder sind eine Wohltat in diesen grauen Tagen. Danke für deinen reizenden Kommentar - soooo lieb von dir!
    Eine traumhaft schöne Zeit und alles liebe cross the ocean

  27. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely roses :)

  28. Just came across your blog. Such lovely pictures. You are clearly passionate about roses and I can see why!! Your blog has certainly given me and idea or two!! Have to find some of those white foxgloves and try to combine with peonies...! Thanks.

  29. Hello Christina,
    Thanks for your beautyfull pictures. The yellow/pink unknown rose above the white foxgloves pictures is Desprez a fleur jaune/ Jaune desprez. Claudia