As the days grow shorter and the weather cools a look back to summer is a great way to lift your spirits. I came across this blog by Victoria Summerley in which she describes her visit to the famous rose gardens at Mottisfont Abbey deep in the heart of rural Hampshire in the UK.
I achieved a long-cherished ambition today. I finally managed to visit the rose gardens at Mottisfont Abbey, in Hampshire – arguably one of the finest in Britain. I went with Zoe, who lives locally and knows the gardens really well. She also loves roses, so it was a bit like having a private guided tour from an expert.As the name suggests, Mottisfont was originally a monastery, founded at the beginning of the 13th century. Like so many religious communities, it was confiscated during the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII, and given to one of his favourites. The “font” refers to the fountain, or spring, which gushes from deep in the ground. The house has been extended and rebuilt over the centuries, and is set in peaceful parkland.A short stroll from the house leads up past the stable block to the rose gardens, where the historic collection of old shrub roses amassed by Graham Stuart Thomas is held. As advisor to the National Trust for 30 years, Stuart Thomas was responsible for restoring some of the most beautiful gardens in Britain.