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Contrasts at Mottisfont



Ben

It’s been a busy couple of weeks… but a little while ago, on a beautiful June evening, I went with friends to Mottisfont. June is Rose month at Mottisfont, and the National Trust open the gardens in the evening for a couple of weeks each year.

The Rose garden was packed. Not only with roses, but with dreamy couples and sweet old ladies who were pretty pushy when it comes to smelling the flowers. Planted by Graham Thomas in the 1960s, the garden is renowned – and certainly pulls in the crowds.

I have to admit – I didn’t love it. Roses are one of my favourite plants, but there is something about too many of them which makes me agree that Christopher Lloyd did the right thing at Great Dixter to rip out the roses and go tropical.

Leaving the roses, and the crowds of fragrant grannies, the rest of the Mottisfont estate and gardens was deserted. The evening sun set low across the clear, empty green lawns and parkland. Willows hung lazily in the River Test.  The house stood shuttered and silent.

Let me know which bit you prefer. 

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