Hidcote Manor Gardens & Mottisfont Abbey Gardens
At the start of 2010 I promised myself I would make an effort and visit more public gardens and country houses, after all I have my National Trust membership which entitles me to free admission, and there are so many wonderful gardens to choose from.
Although we did manage to visit quite a few gardens last year there are two that stand out for me, for completely different reasons. Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire and Hidcote gardens in the Cotswold’s had long been on my list of gardens to visit and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
Two quite beautiful gardens, Hidcote with it’s informal planting schemes and gardens within gardens and Mottisfont with it’s wide open spaces and a most gorgeous walled rose garden which is one of the finest in the country. Definitely the highlight for me!
It’s the diversity that I find so fascinating, along with both natural and formal planting schemes, not to mention the hard work that goes into maintaining these masterpieces of the English countryside.
I came away with a most beautiful pale yellow climbing rose from Mottisfont, which has the scent of fresh custard. I have it growing in my own garden back at Blackbirds and you can’t help noticing the gorgeous scent. It’s quite a vigorous climber and it’s already put on about 3 feet of growth in its first season. It should look and smell even better next year when it’s had a chance to put on its second year of growth.
If you want to grow a climber and don’t have a fence or wall to grow it up you could do what I did and sink a 4″ x 4″ post into the ground. I positioned mine at the edge of the lawn so the scent would waft onto the path on a summers evening.
All I did was hammer a few fence staples in around the post at 6” intervals so I have something to tie the branches into as they grow up the post. Oh, and don’t forget to treat your post with a preservative to protect it from the elements.
If you’d like a great day out then I’d strongly recommend both Hidcote Manor and Mottisfont Abbey, but it’s worth waiting until the roses are at their best, around mid June onwards.
Hidcote Bartrim, near Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6LR
Telephone: 01386 438333
Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire SO51 0LP
Telephone: 01794 340757