The rose garden

This is Mottisfont rose garden in Hampshire. The old kitchen walled garden was originally planted in the 1970's with pre-1900 shrub roses that were collected over 30 years by Graham Stuart Thomas from the British Isles, France, Germany and the United States. Graham Stuart Thomas was also responsible for 100 National Trust gardens in the British Isles. He was influential in redesigning the gardens to encourage more visitors and the legacy of his work is still with us today.

Our daughter was moving into new uni accommodation and we planned to visit this garden on the way home. With other things to think of - I wasn't very good at multi-tasking on this occasion - I forgot the camera! These photos are taken with my husband's phone, so the quality isn't as good as usual.

  It was amazing sight. I have never seen so many wonderful roses all in one place.

We were quite surprised how many of the varieties we had seen or heard about.

The roses were underplanted with a wonderful selection of herbaceous perennials. 

My mother loved roses and our garden as I grew up was always full of hybrid tea roses. There is one moment that always comes to mind when thinking of her and roses.

Back in the late 60's/early 70's they introduced a new area in the German department store where you could listen to records with headphones before buying them. The first time we saw it we thought it was very novel and my Mum decided to try it by listening to I never promised you a rose garden. She got so carried away singing along and forgot where she was, quite unaware of the looks she was getting, or the frantic signals from my Dad to stop her! Do you have any moments when your parents caused you acute embrassment when you were younger?

Flowers from the garden 

We had a busy week celebrating our 28th Wedding anniversary and we also attended  two great music concerts this week. The first one was at the 02 Academy in Bournemouth to see Monsters and Men.  The venue was formally an opera house and it is great to see it being used for a different type of music.  The other concert was an open air concert by Show of Hands in Abbotsbury Gardens. The original concert was meant to have been exactly a year ago. It was cancelled 4 hours before it was due tovstart due to heavy rain and impassable flooded roads.What a contrast in weather been the two years!

I saw this recipe for Rose Petal jam from the Wonderful weekend book by Elspeth Thompson and decided to try it as it looked quite simple and something different.

Rose Petal Jam
 1 cup of sugar (jam sugar is best but I used caster)
2-3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons strained  lemon juice
1 cup of rose petals (most fragrant you can find)
 Make a syrup heating sugar, lemon juice and water when dissolved add rose petals and cook gently for 15 minutes. Take care not to boil as the delicate fragrance will be destroyed. Pour into sterilized glass jars. Use to flavour ice creams or sorbets or add to cream when serving strawberries.

It only made a small amount, as you can see, and isn't it a gorgeous colour? It has an unusual but pleasing taste and we will be looking forward to trying it with different desserts.

A big hello and welcome to my new followers Marietta, Lisa at Noodle Bubble and Anne at Life Lack a daisical. Thank you for so much for joining me, With this lovely weather I am spending more time outside so it's taking me a while to get around to reading all the blogs I follow. Wishing you all a good week.

Sarah x


  1. What a lovely post. Happy anniversary! And thank you for sharing your travels and photos as always.

  2. We went to Mottisfont years ago and I've never forgotten how beautiful it looked and smelled. Just wonderful. xx

  3. The rose garden at Mottisfont is fab at this time of year. As you once commented one day our paths will cross. Happy Anniversary!

  4. Aw happy anniversary. That rose garden looks amazing would love to visit, I'd be in my element sniffing the roses x

  5. I love roses and have never lived anywhere before where they do so well. I agree it's an amzing sight, especially the way they are planted with perennials-just beautiful.

  6. Fantastic photos taken by your hubbies mobile..
    What a magnificent show of roses.
    It makes me want to plant more.
    So many varieties.
    very beautiful.
    Your mum, was enjoying herself.
    your rose petal jam looks divine..
    Its the time to be outside now Sarah.. enjoy our lovely days.
    val x x x x

  7. Hi Sarah,
    My mouth just dropped when I saw the first photo of that amazing rose garden. That is how I want my little rose area to look. What great photo references. The delphiniums are beautiful too and I have a few plants growing in front of my house and now I think I will be planting some in between my roses. : ) A very happy 28th Anniversary too. Blessings to you and your Hubby. Your last rose photo, what a beautiful dark shaded rose. Have a wonderful day.

  8. Oh goodness, I love anything rose flavoured. That jam must taste and smell heavenly.

    Now I have that song's chorus in my head. That must have been embarrassing, but what a trip down memory lane, for you.

    These pictures still look good, despite the phone camera quality. (I'm guilty of being lazy and simply using the phone...) And oh! Happy Anniversary!

  9. How wonderful those roses look, I only wish mine were as healthy and floriferous! Happy Anniversary! Ours today too..

  10. The photos may have been taken on husband's phone Sarah, but they are lovely especially those enhanced by one of my favourite flowers, the delphiniums.
    The rose petal jam looks lovely and I can just imagine how delicious it must be with a scoop of ice cream and some strawberries especially in this very hot weather.
    Glad you had a Happy Anniversary too - wish mine had been only 28 years!!!

  11. Happy Anniversary, I would love to spend time in that garden so very pretty. Rose jam sounds interesting.

  12. so beautiful! i can smell the roses from here.

  13. My mother never embarrassed me, but I am sure that I have done so on more than one occasion to my children.

  14. What a beautiful collection of things in one post. Seeing Of Monsters and Men live - I'm jealous! :)

  15. Happy Anniversary.. that rose garden is absolutely stunning.
    Julie :o)

  16. Happy belated wishes Sarah!28 years of a happy marriage, oh it sounds and it certainly is so wonderful! Your photos are ok, we can admire so well this beautiful multicolored garden!And the roses flavor!Heavenly!

  17. What a gorgeous garden the scent must have been amazing. ~ Sarah x

  18. OH! ROSE PETAL JAM? Now how delicious is that? I've never had it, but I would assume that it tastes like raspberries!

    HELLO SARAH AND DAISY! I have been away from the computer for a week, being in California with family. So good to see your part of the world again, and what a summer it's been! Loving your photos, as always....Anita

  19. What a great story about your mom. I remember my sister and I being mortified that our mom decided to start singing "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas" outside at a gas station when we had an early snow in October. The more we complained, the louder she sang. I now remember it very fondly because it wasn't like her and I realize she must have been very happy. That jam is the prettiest I have ever seen! I'm so glad you showed us a picture of it.

  20. I love the story about your mom! What a fun memory to have of her, even if it was embarrassing at the time. :-)

  21. What a gorgeous display of roses, lovely photos. Wishing you a belated happy anniversary.:)

  22. Ah this post smells so delightful .
    Enjoying time here ~ strolling through the wonderfulful roses.
    Thank you so much for sharing

  23. Hi Sarah, your photos really capture how beautiful the gardens are...I've been to Mottisfont Abbey and it is beautiful! So glad that you enjoyed a lovely day out and a belated happy anniversary! Sharon

  24. Happy Anniversary! The rose garden is beautiful and somewhere I would love to visit. I can just imagine the different scents there. I'm very interested in the jam, it looks perfect for summer.

  25. It's so beautiful and pretty - I can imagine it smells purely divine.

    Nina x

  26. The rose garden looks amazing and must smell wonderful too.

  27. Beuatiful rose garden, although an injection of insulin is due to cope with all that pink! :-)
    That petal jam looks very pretty and the colour is fantastic!

  28. Gorgeous roses Sarah and I love a walled garden. Congratulations on your anniversary. Lovely post with stunning photos.
    Patricia x

  29. What a beautiful garden, I wonder what it must smell like. I don't usually wear perfume but my absolute favourite was one I bought from the Body Shop some 20 years ago, it was called Tea Rose and as the name suggests had the most wonderful smell of roses. I always think of that when I see or smell roses.

  30. Belatedly, Happy Anniversary! And thank your for sharing the fabulous flower photos, and lovely rose petal recipe, and delightful memory of your mother, [even if you were embarrassed at the time] :)
    Gracie xx


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