Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hello and Welcome

Hello and welcome to my brand new blog about the gardens here at Mottisfont,  I will endeavour to update this page at least once a week and keep you posted on developments in the garden. 

It feels like it's been a long and hard winter in the garden this year, probably because we didn't have much of a summer last year, but winter is nearly behind us and spring is just round the corner. I love this time of year as the garden is filled with so much promise of what is about to come, you start to see daffodils in flower everywhere and a whole variety of spring bulbs pushing up through the soil.

The big job that has occupied us over te past 8 weeks or so has been rose pruning, it's quite a task here with the numbers of roses running into the thousands. We are nearly at the end now and the team have done a fantastic job, especially when you consider that the work must go on despite the terrible weather if we are to finish in time.

On some of our roses we prune and train them in a method known as 'pegging down', this is done so that flowers will be produced along the whole stem. If these stems were to be pruned right down to form a more typical srub rose shape then all that flowering wood would be lost. This can be done with almost any variety of rose that prodeces long vertical canes of new growth, preferably over 4 feet in length and I encourage you to try it in your own garden.

Here are a couple of examples:

Please feel free to comment, post and share this bog as well as asking any questions that you might have. I would love to hear from you.


  1. Thanks Jonny - I was questioned today by a visitor about the stem of a climber spiralling up a post instead of being just tied in to the post. Is this for the same reason - to encourage budding & flowering?

  2. Hi Liz - yes thats right, if the stem is neatly spiralled up the post then you are making use of as much of the good wood as possible. This will result in a much better flowering display.

  3. Mottisfont is the loveliest garden and I truly hope to visit one day. I had the opportunity to meet David Stone and witness his pruning methods and talk with him about rose care and gardening. Jon Dodson has shared some of your vieos and I enjoyed them and was impressed with your knowledge and skills. I look forward to following your blog!

  4. Hi Jon, I have a few roses that I peg. I usually tie the tips of the canes onto the lower part of canes. What do you use to attach the canes to the ground?

  5. Greetings from Ohio! I'm another gardener who met David Stone when he was here teaching and found your blog through Jon. Spring is almost here!

  6. It will be exciting to follow the Montisfont gardens in your blog and to see the blooming results of pegging these roses. I'm looking forward to all the wonderful rose knowledge that is coming our way.

  7. Girija and Viru30 March 2013 at 16:18

    Hi Jonny, Just saw your blog account from Jon Dodson on Facebook. Its great to keep abreast of what is happening at Mottisfont. You all do a marvellous job of making and keeping this as one of the very best rose gardens of the world. We have visited twice many years ago, and look forward to visiting it again and drinking in its beauty. Thanks to all of you

  8. Hi Jonny,I'm so happy to see this blog. Mottisfont is one of my very favorite places on earth. Michael and I are coming over next year. I can't wait to see the garden again and my dear friends Jon, and Joan. I'm looking forward to introducing you to Michael.

  9. Thanks for deciding to do a blog Jonny. And thanks for your work in that beautiful place! It's wonderful to have this chance to see the garden - and something of the gardeners' skills and work - through the year.

  10. Anita Clevenger4 April 2013 at 11:07

    Hi Jonny - I am another of Jon's Facebook friends. I had the great pleasure of visiting your garden several years ago and look forward to coming again next year. To me it is everything a rose garden should be and I think and talk and dream about it often. I'm looking forward to following your blog. Many photos, please. I like seeing how the roses are trained. I asked Jon many questions during my visit and still have a lot to learn!

  11. Thanks for the blog, Jonny. I'm another of Jon's California friends, and loved my visit to Mottisfont a few years ago. Say "Hi" to David from me,and let me know when you'll be at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden.

  12. Thank you to everyone for your kind words of encouragement. I'm quite surprised at the amount of interest there is in this blog, and our garden here at Mottisfont.

  13. Hi Jonny,

    Glad I found your blog - much more interesting than the main website! Please could you remind me what the 'rose of the day' was on Saturday 29 June? It a climber that was covering many arches - goes from pink to white apparently. I took photos but forgot to write down the name....

    Many thanks


    1. Good afternoon Edward,

      The Rose you are looking for is 'Adelaide d'Orleans'


  14. Hi Jonny,I really like the rose,you showed with examples of how to Pegged roses in the show Great British Garden Revival S2 - Episode 1 - Roses, Climbers and Creepers.
    Could you tell me how the name of this rose?Thank you very much.E.K.