Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens (National Trust), Hampshire, England:

Set in the walled gardens of an Augustinian Priory dating back to the 13th century, the rose garden at Mottisfont Abbey is the best romantic rose garden in the world!

Although there are other excellent rose gardens in the UK, such as the modern Royal National Rose Society’s (RNRS) rose gardens at St. Albans and the extensive rose gardens of the RHS at Rosemoor in Devon, the old fashioned roses at Mottisfont produce a truly remarkable spectacle when in full bloom.

These amazing gardens are filled with scent. The National Trust arranges late opening on several evenings in June so visitors get to sample the roses gorgeous perfume too. It’s a good time to visit as the large number of visitors is usually less in the evening and the roses scent fills the summer evening air. At its peak this garden really does provide visitors with a piece of ‘heaven on earth’. If you can only visit one rose garden in the UK, this is definitely the one to go for!

This photo shows a romantic garden seat framed by a rose pergola with a pink climbing rose on it.

Details: Mottisfont Abbey Gardens contain the UK’s National Collection of old fashioned roses – with some varieties dating back hundreds of years. The collection contains ancient and historic roses such as alba and damask roses, gallicas, centifolias, rugosas, early china and hybrid perpetual roses, together with early tea and hybrid tea roses. There are also numerous climbers and ramblers covering the many pergolas and arches throughout the garden.

The companion planting is exceptionally well chosen too: with clematis scrambling through climbing roses and an imaginative under-planting of herbaceous perennials including peonies, poppies, foxgloves, campanulas, pinks, nepeta, lavender, foxtail lilies, alchemilla, etc. – all making for a brilliant display in the wide borders of the gardens.

Location: Mottisfont Abbey Gardens, Mottisfont, Near Romsey, Hampshire, UK. SO51 0LP

UK OS Map reference: SU327270

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