Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens

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The Mottisfont Abbey, located in Hampshire, England, was established by William Briwere in the year 1201 as an Augustinian priory. Although the abbey fell into disrepair and was dissolved during the late Middle Ages, Mottisfont later became part of a wealthy estate and saw the addition of a new mansion in the 18th century. In 1957, Mottisfont Abbey was gifted to the National Trust conservation organization of England, and today the estate and its landscaped gardens remain a popular visitor attraction.  

The Garden’s Creator

Although the Mottisfont Abbey itself dates back to the early 13th century, its rose garden is a recent addition. The rose garden enjoyed by visitors today was created in the 1970s by Graham Stuart Thomas, one of Britain’s most famous horticulturalists and garden designers of the 20th century. Thomas was best known for his work with roses, particularly older species on the verge of extinction. His career with the National Trust began with the Hidcote Manor in the 1940s, but he considered Mottisfont Abbey to be his masterpiece.

The Abbey Rose Garden

The Mottisfont Abbey rose garden is a walled garden within the larger structure of the Abbey’s garden and grounds. It is most famous for its large collection of more than 500 varieties if roses, and is accessible via a traditionally-designed garden gate that provides an entryway through the garden’s red brick walls. Inside the garden, visitors can find a central pond and fountain surrounded by Irish yews, along with several boxes of roses and clematis lining the garden perimeter. Although the roses take center stage, there are several additional species present to complement the look of these blooms, offering a continuous background of color throughout the growing season.

This article is part of Santa Rita Landscaping’s ongoing blog series, The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World. You can find out more about Mottisfont Abbey’s old-fashioned rose gardens on the National Trust website.

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the most spectacular gardens in the world

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