Summer in the garden at Mottisfont

The herbaceous borders of the walled gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire

The herbaceous borders in our famous walled garden provide a wonderful floral colour palette right through until October, showcasing a huge variety of flowering plants following peak rose season.

Bordering two sides of the historic central pathway in the walled gardens, two deep flower beds boast many of Graham Stuart Thomas’s favourite perennials, chosen for their structure, scent and wide colour palette.

Agapanthus, geraniums and peonies mingle with pinks, lilies, phlox and nepeta. The centres of the borders are a mass of soft blues, pinks and whites, whilst stronger yellows, oranges and dark pinks draw your eye along the length of the border. 

Lavender and poppies also bloom in the walled gardens during July, and a display of colourful cosmos within the outer borders of the central garden provides colour in August. While the peak rose season of once-flowering old-fashioned roses has finished, some repeat flowering varieties will continue to bloom throughout the summer.

Elsewhere in the gardens, the arched bridge across the river beside our great plane is covered in sweet-scented Rosa Alberic Barbier. 

Roses in bloom across the bridge
An arched bridge over a river in the grounds of Mottisfont, Hampshire, covered with blooming roses
Roses in bloom across the bridge

The veteran great plane tree is in leaf, showing off its enormous size, while mature tulip trees will be magnificent in bright green. Our historical parterre, designed by the celebrated Nora Lindsay, shows off its summer bedding flowers. 

If it gets too hot, take a shady, tree-lined stroll along the River Test, which runs through our grounds. It's teeming with wildlife - spot brown trout in the waters, and growing cygnets learning to swim.

Our grounds offer perfect picnic spots, too.

A family having a picnic in the springtime at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Our top picnic spots 

It’s the perfect season for picnics, and our grounds offer some idyllic spots to enjoy an al fresco lunch while you visit. There are picnic tables and benches dotted around our grounds, and plenty of spaces to spread out a blanket.

Looking after the roses

Caring for our collection of old-fashioned roses is continuous throughout this season, following the main display in June. We don't tend to dead-head these unique roses. Most of the old-fashioned types only flower once a year, and afterwards produce ornamental fruit or ‘heps', which, as well as brightening the garden in autumn, provide local birds with an important source of winter food.

The team remove the spent blooms of any repeat flowering roses by cutting the stem back to a healthy new bud, which will encourage them to keep flowering.