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The garden at Mottisfont

The Rose Garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire in the June evening sun. Beds filled with flowers can be seen alongside an armillary sphere, in the background, through the walled garden entrance, the low June evening sun shines across the parkland.
The Rose Garden in June at Mottisfont | © National Trust Images/Clive Nichols

Discover a garden of ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns. Carpets of spring bulbs, walled gardens, a world-famous collection of once-flowering roses, rich autumn foliage and a colourful, scented winter garden create a feast for the senses all year round.

Step into the gardens at Mottisfont

The abundant spring that gave Mottisfont its name is now an ornamental feature of the garden. Tributaries of the River Test flow through the grounds, too. Follow paths beside the waterways to spot trout basking and swans gliding.

As you approach the house, an enormous tree catches the eye – seeming to dwarf the building from some angles. This huge London plane is thought to be the largest of its kind in Britain, and forms part of the National Collection of plane trees which stand in the grounds.

The garden is home to many other fine specimen trees, including grand horse chestnuts and stately oaks, planted by Georgian owners. Twentieth-century features include an elegant double row of pollarded limes and a circle of beech trees.

Guided garden walks

Our volunteer Garden Guides lead free themed daily walks, including a Welcome Walk which provides a general introduction for first-time visitors, alongside more in-depth history and seasonal garden walks. The Welcome Team at visitor reception will be able to advise what’s on offer when you visit.

Summer in the garden

Our walled gardens are home to the National Collection of pre-1900 old-fashioned roses. They're in full bloom just once a year, reaching their peak in early summer. Over five hundred varieties grow here, from gallicas to albas, drawing visitors from all over the world. We offer extended opening hours for the garden on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in June.

Find out more about rose season at Mottisfont.

Colourful herbaceous borders in the walled gardens provide changing displays until September. The plants here were 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.

In July and August, lavender lines the pathways of the walled garden and edges the north lawn behind the house. Pause beside the purple flowers to take in the scent and listen out for the hum of busy bees.

Summer flowers blooming in the herbaceous borders of the walled gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Summer blooms in the walled garden herbaceous borders | © National Trust/Sophie Wilkinson

The Kitchen Garden

Rediscovered and restored in 2018, the innovative Kitchen Garden embodies Mottisfont’s medieval history and productive past. Everything planted here is culinary, medicinal or edible, designed to educate and inspire.

Raised beds are planted with a mix of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers from spring to autumn. Surrounding a central water feature, the beds are constructed of brick and flint to reflect materials found elsewhere at Mottisfont. Running the full length of the garden are two cloister-esque wooden pergola walkways crafted from re-purposed Hampshire chestnut. These have been newly planted with sweet peas and grape vines, which will develop over the coming years.

Visitors in the walled rose garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Discover more at Mottisfont

Find out when Mottisfont is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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The Rose Garden in June at Mottisfont, Hampshire

The Rose Garden at Mottisfont 

The National Collection of Pre-1900 Shrub Roses reaches its peak flowering season in early summer for a spectacular annual display.

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We make compost in vast quantities at Mottisfont, keeping the soil healthy and ensuring the garden, including the famous rose collection, is looking its very best.

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Visiting Mottisfont with your dog 

Mottisfont is a two pawprint rated place. Dogs on a short lead are welcome to explore most of the garden.

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Explore Maud Russell’s 1930s neo-classical interiors, in an 18th-century house with medieval origins and enjoy changing art exhibitions in the spacious gallery.

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Explore Mottisfont’s diverse estate, traversed by the crystal-clear River Test, and south Hampshire countryside sites of Stockbridge Down and Marsh and Curbridge Nature Reserve.

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Gardener working in the walled garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

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