Late summer and early autumn colour in Mottistone Gardens
A trip to Mottistone Gardens means you can make the most of the last lazy days of summer. The warm, sheltered location provides the perfect setting for flowers to blossom under the September and October sun. This means that the gardens are still full of colour in late summer and early autumn, with many of the plants that flourished through the high season still blooming. Others, meanwhile, are starting to thrive as the new season arrives. And every time you return to see what's new, you're helping us plant something different for next year.
As the colours of the countryside change across the Island, so too do those at Mottistone. Just like the trees around them, in the lower garden, the leaves and flowers of Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Karfunkelstein’ change colour over the months, finally reaching their full glory as the cooler days arrive. The reds and oranges of autumn leaves are also echoed in the borders. The bright, spikey orange heads of Dahlia ‘Ludwig Helfert’, and rich bronze foliage and flowers of Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ reflect the landscape perfectly. Red bells of Penstemon ‘King George V’ continue to blossom in the sunshine, whilst in the monocot border stately ginger and canna lilies produce vibrant orange flowers.
Around the maze, further colour and structure is provided by the giant leaves of exotic lilies and banana plants. The dark red foliage of the Abyssinian banana, a favourite of our Head Gardener, survives the cooler conditions of the British climate in its sheltered location at Mottistone and produces particularly large leaves.
Continuing summer colour
Summer colour continues across the garden too. In the rose garden, the Rosa 'Bonica' enjoys a second flush in the late summer sun. With its compact clusters of dainty shell pink flowers and glossy leaves, it stands out within the garden. Dotted through the borders and lining the paths are delicate Japanese anemones, golden Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, bright cosmos and purple catmint. These, along with the small, dainty flowers of the ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Dusky rose’ geraniums in the top border, are a magnet for bees and butterflies. As the final days of summer arrive, the vivid scarlet and purple flowers of the ‘Mrs Popple’ fuchsia start to blossom, edging the paths to the tea-garden with bright, cheery colour.
New for this year....
Our hard-working garden team spent last winter redesigning and creating a brand new organic kitchen garden. It now features accessible pathways and raised borders so that everyone can enjoy the fruit and vegetables that grow here.
We use the produce in the tea garden, where possible, in our tasty sandwiches and light lunches. In early autumn we'll be harvesting the last of the French and runner beans, as well as courgettes, tomatoes and peppers. The main crop of potatoes will be ready too, and juicy apples and pears will be dangling from the trees, ripe for picking. By October, vibrant orange pumpkins will be a familiar sight.
" My favourites at this time of year are autumn-fruiting raspberries, especially a variety called Falls Gold which melt in your mouth."
Whichever season you choose to visit Mottistone Gardens, there’ll be plenty to see.