Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise V

Because of late autumn and also due to the fact that rose pruning has started yesterday, my garden looks quite bare and is deprived of its rose blooms. I miss them already and can't wait for the spring flush next year. But I thought I could help myself out and go through my photos of Mottisfont Abbey, one of the most beautiful rose gardens that I know of. A good reason to continue my series about this great garden on my blog and write up a new post.

In this entry I am featuring some rare roses that are growing at Mottisfont, that you are not very likely to have seen ever before. So I hope I have some surprises in store even for the most knowledgeable rose enthusiasts. I am so glad that Mottisfont Abbey is preserving these beauties for the future for all of us to enjoy.

One rose beauty that I couldn't find a label of. I like the careless, frilly and playful look of the flowers.

'Lady Waterlow', a climbing Hybrid Tea rose bred by Paul Nabonnand and/or Clement Nabonnand (France, 1902). This was a rose that simply blew my mind. We must have been lucky and visited Mottisfont when 'Lady Waterlow' was at her absolute peak. Once again you can see on the photo how perfect the climbing roses are trained at Mottisfont for maximum bloom production.

Each semi-double bloom of 'Lady Waterlow' is simply gorgeous! The pink blend coloration of the flowers is so subtle, you can't help but fall in love with them. The rose is suppose to have a strong fragrance, which I can't vouch for, since I couldn't get to it.

In Mottisfont many peonies are growing together with the roses and lots of them were in bloom when we visiting Unfortunately I don't know the name of this variety.

I found the planting of the flower beds so inspiring...

... and really liked that at Mottisfont, even though the roses play the lead role...

...they are displayed together with many different companion plants.

I feel that only enhances the beauty of the roses.

Loved this combination of dark burgundy and white colored peonies and white foxgloves.

A wide shot of another flower bed.

A rose that you don't see that often is 'Gloire des Mousseux', a Moss Rose, bred in 1852 by Jean Laffay and/or M. Robert in France.

The small flowers of 'Gloire des Mousseux' are quite charming and their form is a little unusual, but...

...the real attraction of this rose is the moss on the buds. It is quite pronounced.

And another lovely peony bloom.

And one more.

A China Rose that I saw the very first time in my life is 'Mme Laurette Messimy'. The rose is assumed to be bred by Jean Baptiste Andre Guillot and/or Pierre Guillot in France, 1887. The semi double flowers are pink, but have beautiful yellow undertones. One characteristic is that the buds are unusually long.

Here is a whole bush shot of 'Mme Laurette Messimy'. I think it is a rose with a very unique appearance and charm.

Another rose that I don't have an identity of, but it reminds me of the Tea Rose 'Le Vesuve'.

An enchanting combination in my eyes! Anybody knows the white, delicate, fluffy flowering plant? Could it be Valerian? But the leaves don't look right...

At this point, I still remember even though our visit was two years ago, we were totally saturated with impressions and couldn't take in anymore.

So we headed back to the exit, passing some this wonderful rose beds again...

...and took a break at the tea room. Of course, we didn't have only tea but cake as well. I recall having a ultra delicious walnut cake. Yum!

After we had rested for a while and restored our energy and our capacity to take in more rose beauty, we headed back to the rose gardens and started to explore the third walled rose garden of Mottisfont Abbey.

The combination of lavender and white colors spoke to me in this bed.

A charming white rose that unfortunately I have no Identity of.

Close-up of an Allium head. Does anyone know what the white delicate flowering plant is in the background?

The romantic planting style of Mottisfont is hard to top.

You can't help but being in awe of the giant Allium heads. They have such a dramatic impact in this bed.

I hope you enjoyed my continuation of the tour through Mottisfont Abbey and you will be back for the next installment. I have plenty more beautiful pictures to share with you. If you don't want to wait until my next post about Mottisfont Abbey is up, here are the links to the previous ones that I already published:

Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise I
Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise II
Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise III
Mottisfont Abbey - a Rose Lover's Paradise IV

Winter is the time to buy or order new bare root roses in the US and Europe. Maybe my post has tempted you to get some new roses for your own garden? Wouldn't that be the perfect Christmas present? I am certainly thinking about it...

See you in the garden!


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  1. Precioso reportaje. Me encantan las rosas y todas las flores. Besitos.

  2. They're beautiful photos, Christina - and what a wonderful garden! As sad as it must be to be surrounded by flower-less shrubs, it must feel good to have that onerous pruning task behind you. I only have a small number of roses but even I dread the pruning exercise, which I don't usually tackle until early January.

    1. Thanks for your compliment regarding my photos, Kris! You must have misunderstood, I am not done with pruning my roses, I just started yesterday. To complete this tasks almost takes me four weeks, that is why I start this early. The pruning is OK, but the de-leaving is killing me and I don't even have that many roses, but some of them are pretty tall by now.

  3. Beautiful memories ! I love "Lady Waterlow". You are so fortunate to have seen so many gorgeous gardens in England. Thank you for sharing, dear Christina !
    Happy Holidays !

  4. Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures. I'm determined to visit a little earlier next year when the foxgloves a peonies are flowering. You're right about all the other planting enhancing the roses, the whole effect is magical.

    1. Debbie, so nice to see you commenting on my blog, again! We definitively lucked out with the timing when we visited two years ago. You just put it into perfect words: The rose and companion plant combinations are magical at Mottisfont. I feel there is so much that I can learn from studying their way to design the flower beds and how they put things together. What fun!

  5. I still haven't visited Mottisfont and really must next year! Thank you for brightening up a very grey day here in England!

  6. I love 'Lady Waterlow'. Thank you for sharing more of this beautiful garden.

    Happy Christmas Holidays to you and your DH ~ FlowerLady

  7. I have been here only once. It was a very dry summer, and many blooms suffered. The lady Waterlow is stunningly beautiful! All the gardens look just lovely! Happy Holidays,

  8. Dreamy, just dreamy. I love the Peonies, too. And the way the Roses are espaliered to the walls. Gorgeous!

  9. Thank you for taking me to this wonderful place again Christina, here are so many things I absolutely love!! And ideas for me to pick up once I start planting in my own garden. I am going to create my own (small) version of climbing roses on a wall, and it is very English to make the beds as deep as you possibly can and then plant with lots of companion plants like peonies, lavender, penstemons and so on. I will do the same here. I have been looking at different systems for wiring the roses on the wall, I understand there are 3 different ways to do it but I haven’t made up my mind which way I will choose. Would have loved to see how they did the training on Mottisfont :-)
    Have a great Sunday, and good luck with all your pruning, I have started too, but have far less to do than you :-)

    1. Helene, it will look absolutely wonderful when you train climbing roses on your beautiful brick wall in your new garden. Unfortunately I don't have any photos that really show what wiring system they have chosen in Mottisfont to train the roses. Good luck finding the system that works for you!
      Planting roses with tons of companion plants seems to be indeed an "English thing" and I am trying to emulate this approach as good as I can in my American garden.

  10. How beautiful! Incredibly inspiring gardens and lovely enough for an artist to paint! I especially love the combination of the roses, peonies and foxglove together. Thank you for sharing the beauty on a cold, gray day!

  11. Ce jardin est magnifique ! ...Je suis admirative de ce mur enjolivé du rosier Lady Waterlow, une variété que je ne peux pas accueillir pour sa faible rusticité. Admirative également de l'ensemble pivoines pourpres et blanches. Un régal pour les visiteurs du jardin et pour les Internautes qui ne sont pas insensibles à la beauté de cette fleur majestueuse. Cette balade florale est dans mes goûts, j'ai beaucoup apprécié...
    Belle journée...Jocelyne

  12. The 'Lady Waterlow' is one of my favorites that you've shown. Peonies here lasted 3 years then died. Creating garden beds is a challenge for all of us and forever changing. Thanks for the tour. Happy Advent.

  13. Thank you, Christina! "Saturated with impressions" is a great way to put it! These gardens are breathtaking and a wonderful sight to inspire dreams of next year's garden. Wishing you a most blessed and Merry Christmas! Deb

  14. Dear Christina:
    Now here is a wonderful garden and with that wall - like a Secret Garden too! Of course it is always the foxgloves that capture my heart. So many wonderful roses too! I feel inspired! (But there is snow to be dealt with first)! Thanks for much for sharing!

    1. Bernideen, now that you said it, yes, Mottisfont feels a little bit like a secret garden. I love white foxgloves, too, but unfortunately they don't grow in my hot climate. Hope they do well for you in your garden. They are truly enchanting and make such good partners for the roses.

  15. The gardens are most beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Awesome! All looks great, especially the wall that full of roses. thank you for sharing

  17. Lovely garden! I love climbing roses on the wall, they look like a fence themselves!

  18. Thank you for sharing this garden with us. At this time of year I miss all the flowers and their lovely scents. So a trip to a special garden is most welcome.

  19. Beth, a warm welcome to my blog and thanks for leaving a comment! Even in mild Southern California I miss the rose blooms in the winter. The weather is nasty here this very moment, but I shouldn't complain, because it is raining and we need the rain so very badly to have nice blooms in spring, again!

  20. Thanks for the inspiring blog post :) I think the little white flower in the background of one of your photographs might be stitchwort (stellaria). It grew as a wild flower behind the cottage where I grew up in the Trossachs.

    1. Sophie, welcome to my blog! Many thanks for your comment and for trying to identify white flowering plant in question. It certainly looks like a lovely cottage flower.