Summer in the gardens at Mottistone

Throughout the summer, the gardens at Mottistone on the Isle of Wight provide a treat for the senses. From the heady scent of roses in the garden in June, to the eye-catching colours of the various plants and flowers that fill the borders by August, a visit in any month will reveal something new.

The start of summer

 As summer begins, the warm June sunshine fills the gardens with the beautiful aroma of lavender and roses. With its compact clusters of dainty shell pink flowers and glossy leaves, the Rosa 'Bonica' stands out within the garden.

Over on the wildflower banks, the oxeye daises cover the slopes in a carpet of white, whilst in the lower garden the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) produces brightly coloured flowers in abundance. Up on the steps, Mexican fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) cascades down the stonework that leads to the rose garden. It is one of the most talked about plants at Mottistone and is popular with bees.

Flowers of the tulip tree in Mottistone Gardens
The flowers of the Tulip tree in Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight
Flowers of the tulip tree in Mottistone Gardens

Height of summer colour

By July, catmint and the delicate creamy flowers of Sisyrinchium edge the paths that pass through the double herbaceous border. The sun loving Osteospermum 'Tresco Purple' also begins to flower, and the many sunny and sheltered locations within the gardens mean that it will continue to produce colourful blooms through until September.

Summer flowers in Mottistone's red, blue and orange border
Red, orange and blue flowers behind garden stonework
Summer flowers in Mottistone's red, blue and orange border

As summer reaches its peak in August, the flowers of the red, blue and orange border display their vibrant colours. Blue Agapanthus contrasts with lofty red Kniphofia, whilst the red bells of Penstemon ‘King George V’ blossom in the sunshine.

Glorious summer colour in the gardens at Mottistone
Flowers of many different colours in the borders at Mottistone Gardens in late summer
Glorious summer colour in the gardens at Mottistone

Pictorial meadow

Our hard-working team were also busy over the winter of 2019-2020 creating a ‘Pictorial Meadow’ beneath the avenue of fruit trees in the orchard. They scattered hundreds of wildflower seeds and last summer musk mallow, clary, knapweed, scarlet flax, scabious, yarrow, wild carrot, corn poppies, and lacy phacelia appeared in succession throughout the season. This year there are so many different varieties and beautiful colours you'd be hard pressed to identify them all. How many will you spy on a visit?

Wildflowers fill the orchard in summer at Mottistone Gardens
The wildflower meadow in Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight
Wildflowers fill the orchard in summer at Mottistone Gardens

New for this year....

Earlier this year our team of gardeners and volunteers created entirely new borders in the lower garden, all based on the Fibonacci sequence. Within the swirling pattern they planted feathery ornamental grasses, such as stipa gigantea, as well as perennials, including gaura, geum, lupins, sanguisorba, echinops, and white cosmos, which will fill the borders with a mixture of colours and textures, especially by late summer and into September.

Food for the eyes

If you pop back throughout the summer, in our organic kitchen garden you'll find different seasonal plants growing, from the bright greens and vibrant reds of lettuce leaves in June, to sweet, melt-in-the-mouth raspberries in September. It has accessible pathways and raised borders so that everyone can enjoy the fruit and vegetables that grow here.

Juicy raspberries in Mottistone Gardens
Little girl looking at a raspberry in Mottistone Gardens
Juicy raspberries in Mottistone Gardens
" My favourite thing is to dig up the first new potatoes of the season and taste the sweetness of a freshly picked strawberry."
- Ed, Gardener

Of course, these are just a few of the seasonal highlights and there are many other beautiful plants and flowers to discover around the garden. See what other interesting flora you can find on a visit to Mottistone this summer.