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.

Autumnal hues

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.

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ gives late summer colour at Mottistone Gardens
Orange and yellow flowers of Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ in Mottistone Gardens
Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ gives late summer colour at Mottistone Gardens

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 survives the cooler conditions of the British climate in its sheltered location at Mottistone and produces particularly large leaves.

Our Head Gardener's favourite, the Abyssinian banana in Mottistone Gardens
Large red leaves of the Abyssinian banana in Mottistone Gardens
Our Head Gardener's favourite, the Abyssinian banana in Mottistone Gardens

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.

Bees love catmint in Mottistone Gardens
Bee on purple catmint flowers in Mottistone Gardens
Bees love catmint in Mottistone Gardens

Organic kitchen garden

Our organic kitchen garden features accessible pathways and raised borders so that everyone can enjoy the fruit and vegetables that grow here.

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."
- Ed, Gardener

Whichever season you choose to visit Mottistone Gardens, there’ll be plenty to see.