Roses in Bloom

Roses in Bloom

Dear Mummy, every year for the past 3 years you’ve been taking me to see the roses at Mottisfont in Romsey, Hampshire. It’s an 18th-century home with a medieval priory owned by The National Trust and we’ve had many adventures here. Every year in June, … Continue reading

50 Things that make me happy….by my mummy

50 things that make me happy…
…by my mummy.

Dear Mummy, last week I shared 50 things that make a toddler happy and this week it’s your go!

It started when PickingUpToys tagging us for the 50 Happy Things challenge. There are lots of people participating in this at the moment, so I hope you like getting to know me and my mummy a bit better 🙂

50 Things that make my mummy happy

Here’s my mummy’s list of 50 things that make her happy. Simples x

1) Me and Daddy of course!

2) Her family and close friends

3) National Trust walks

4) Taking photos with her new camera

5) Social media and blogging

6) Watching great telly like Game of Thrones, Gotham, Hannibal and True Detective

7) Reading Mo Hayder books

8) Shopping (when she has the money)

9) Window shopping (when she doesn’t have the money!)

10) #SoMum make dates on Twitter – they are such fun!

11) Crafting with me

12) Summer picnics

13) A new haircut

14) Scrunchy head (head massage to me and you)

15) Back rubs

16) Going to Festivals

17) Camping and the great outdoors

18) Swimming

19) Graphic Design

20) Day trips to London

21) Day trips to Brighton

22) Anything vintage

23) Charity shop hunting and car-booting

24) Dancing

25) Drinking Strawberry & Lime Cider in the sun

26) Ulster Fry-ups

27) Guinness

28) Painting her nails

30) Watching me – it’s one of her favourite pastimes

31) Sleep and her bed

32) Halloween

33) Bonfire Night

34) Slipknot Wednesdays

35) Scott Mills – a man from her home town!

36) Pears

37) Afternoon tea with Earl Grey

38) Watching funny YouTube videos

39) Fashion and reading magazines

40) Karma. People getting a good dose.

41) Top Gear

42) Going to gigs

43) Kebabs

44) Going to the Beach

45) Visiting the Witches at Burley, New Forest

46) Spa days

47) Clean sheets

48) Seeing blossom everywhere

49) Her faith

50) Our life

We hope you like this weeks list!

Love Bella and her mummy x

The List

Top Ten Places in Hampshire this Easter!

Easter in Hampshire

Top Ten Places in Hampshire this Easter!

Dear mummy, here’s a little list I compiled of places to go and things to do in Hampshire this Easter! Easter is a lovely time in this neck of the woods and we love visiting gardens and farms in Spring. Here’s our top ten attractions.

  • Exbury Gardens, Southampton – Explore the Rhododendrons and jump on the steam train to see the Easter Bunny. We visited last year and had a great time!
  • Visit Marwell Wildlife, Southampton – To join in with the Easter Park Trail in the Zoo!
  • Build Lego at Bricks in Motion at Milestones Museum, Basingstoke – Watch the master builders create stunning displays out of Lego. We went last year to Lego Lost World and had a fab time.
  • See the spring lambs at Manydown Farm, Basingstoke – It’s lambing season along with Easter crafts and activities. We went last year and I made an Easter Egg card for my mummy!
  • Visit The National Trust at Mottisfont, Romsey and go to the Easter Bunny Ball and join in with the Easter Egg hunt.
  • Visit Wellington Country Park, on the Hampshire border of Basingstoke/Reading and join in with one if their themed days over the Easter break! We’re looking forward to visiting the Circus!
  • Visit The Vyne and join in with their Cadbury Easter Egg trail.
  • Finkley Down Farm, Andover – Pop down to the farm come rain or shine and see the little chicks and lambs!
  • Pop into Basingstoke Town and enjoy the events Festival Place have put on – Eat Street will be bringing live cooking demonstrations, entertainment and prizes. Also at the Top of Town in Basingstoke there will be Easter activities and entertainment too!

We hope you like our little list on activities over the Easter Break in Hampshire. Hopefully you can join in the fun! Let us know where you visit if you are local 🙂

Love Bella x

The List

Our weekend in pictures

Valentines Cakes from Waitrose

Our Valentine’s Day Weekend in Pictures It’s been an interesting past couple of days. The weather has been a bit hit and miss in Hampshire, we’ve had glorious sunshine and then heavy downpours. We’ve had days outside in the fresh … Continue reading

Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust

Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust, Dorset.

January 19, 2015.

Dear mummy, this week we headed across the county border into Dorset to visit to Kingston Lacy.

Kingston Lacy National TrustKingston Lacy is a Grade 1 listed country house and estate owned by the National Trust. It’s just on the other side of the quaint Wimborne Minster, off the A31, past Ringwood and the New Forest.

It’s a bright and sunny day so we decide to brave the cold and go on an hour journey down the motorway and into the countryside.

We nearly get lost heading to Poole (which wouldn’t be a bad thing as we quite like the coast and the beach) after doubling back a couple of times we finally find Kingston Lacy.

Huge imposing gates and a long drive lead into the car park right next to the entrance to the visitors reception.

With plenty of space to park, we bundle everything into the buggy (warm clothes, wellies, rucksack, camera and changing bag etc) and head into the estate. The entrance doors are narrow and we have trouble getting the buggy through. We have to get help entering the visitors reception and this is the first hurdle of the day.

Kingston Lacy National Trust 2It doesn’t help that mummy is on her own with a troublesome toddler making mischief – the sun is a blessing on this cold day but also a curse.

It hurts my eyes and I winge all the way to the main house, my mummy tries to walk against the low sun in the sky but it still bothers me.

Finally, I’m let off the rein onto the grass where I have a really good run around, tripping over my own feet in excitement and covering myself in mud.

It seems quiet but then again it is midweek. There are only older couples waking around the estate and I destroy all the peace and quiet with my laughing and shouting.

In fact my shenanigans draw so much attention that people start to walk the other way!! However it does draw some interest in the form of a friendly black cat. He runs over from the main house to give us a big leg rub.

Kingston-Lacy-ReviewWe follow him to the little gardens, past the ancient 6.5m-high obelisk and he mysteriously disappears. Hmmmmm spooky…..We explore the Kitchen Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Unfortunately Lime Walk is closed today, so we miss the carpet of Snowdrops. However, we do see lots of Snowdrops poking out of the brown soil in and around the woods.

We play on the South Lawn and then head into the cafe to warm up with a cuppa.

Hurdle number 2. Doors aren’t wide in the cafe area and a lot of the seating has been sectioned off for NT staff training. So we are squished in this barn/stable style cafe with wonky cobbled floors and chairs all bunched together.

We put the buggy away in the corner and mummy juggles an overloaded tray, soup, hot drinks and while dragging me to find a high chair… while staff look on. It’s a shame really as they could have helped as there where enough of them milling around. We then had the fasted lunch on record, as we felt unwelcome in the silent dining room, attracting unwanted glances from elderly couples.

Kingston-LacyBack outside we explored the courtyard while mummy finished her drink and I was causing mayhem, balancing precariously on little curbs and jumping in puddles. We set off to the woodland walk, my mummy pushing the buggy and me trailing behind her.

Unfortunately that’s when I fell, tripping over my wellies in my eagerness to hold onto the buggy. I split my lip on the gravel path 😦 a lovely ‘off duty’ National Trust staff member came over to offer us help which was nice and my mummy probably appeared rude refusing. A kind ‘on duty’ lady from reception came over to point us in the direction of the toilets while my mummy tried to comfort me and stop the bleeding.

Kingston Lacy Woodland WalkOver tired, with the sun in my eyes the rest of the afternoon was an upset one with our woodland walk rushed, we decided to head home and chill out on the sofa.

A long way to go for us but it was very pretty at Kingston Lacy. We can’t always have brilliant days.

We’d like to go back when the house and Lime Avenue is back open and when the Kitchen Garden isn’t as bleak. With safety in numbers I’m sure we’d have a lovely time with friends and family.

Bella x

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our trip to Winterfell – Game of Thrones

Our trip to Winterfell

(Castle Ward, National Trust)

Dear Mummy, after visiting Mount Stewart on our recent trip to Northern Ireland we tracked down where they filmed scenes from Game of Thrones. Season 1 of the TV adaptation used the courtyard of Castle Ward in County Down, Northern Ireland, for Winterfell.

Game of Thrones WinterfellMy mummy and Daddy are huge Game of Thrones fans and even my Grandma was an extra in Season 2! So it was an absolute must when we visited Northern Ireland.

So we’re heading to Winterfell, home of the Starks. Well actually it’s called Castle Ward and home to The National Trust.

Strangford Lough

We visited Castle Ward’s neighbour Mount Stewart a couple of days ago and had a lovely afternoon.

Today is filled with the same excitement about attending a new National Trust property.

Castle Ward is on the other side of the lough, 2-3 miles from Strangford Town. It takes around 45 minutes from Belfast and I nap on the way there.

We arrive in Strangford first to have lunch and see the little fishing port.

A warm welcome greets us at The Cuan Hotel where we stay by the fire and eat a great lunch. We study the local maps and watch the little car ferry travel across the waterway known as The Narrows to Portaferry. The ferry crosses every 30 minutes and only lasts 8 minutes.

Strangford Harbour, Lough and The Narrows are home to a variety of wildlife such as Crabs, Lobsters, Sharks, Seals and the odd killer whale and humpback have even been spotted! Wow that’s a lot of wildlife to see!

Game of Thrones Winterfell at Castle WardThis place is steeped in history too. There are many Tower Houses dotted around, their big turrets visible from the roads.

We see the sign for Castle Ward and head down the long drive pass the main house and into the car park.

It’s not what we expected as we roll up to the estate through the rolling fields with views over Strangford Lough. It’s a cold and bright December day in Northern Ireland. The most interesting aspect of Castle Ward is its dual architecture from the 16th-century fortified tower house (used as inspiration for Winterfell filming and CGI) to the 18th-century house.

There’s a little children’s playground next to the information point and only the grounds are open today (we knew this before we left) so we miss out on seeing the cafe and main house.

There is enough to see and do though. We trundle off to the farmyard and the bank side of Strangford Lough.

Walking down the path we can see the turrets of the old farmyard. This is where they filmed some of the first season of Game of Thrones. Through the iron gates you can see the lough and they also have a little farm area with goats and chickens.

Castle Ward National TrustThe light is fading…so we take the woodland path back up and get a good glimpse of the 18th-century house, I play for a while in the play park before heading home. Well worth a visit if you are a Game of Thrones fan, enjoy beautiful scenery and a good old walk.

A lovely day in Strangford and Castle Ward.

Can’t wait to return in the summer to have a good explore when it’s not so cold! Brrrrrr.

Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A winter walk at Mount Stewart, National Trust

A winter walk at Mount Stewart, National Trust

Dear Mummy, on our recent trip to Northern Ireland we headed outside Belfast to find an old National Trust estate called Mount Stewart.

Mount-Stewart- houseIt’s an 18th-century property situated on the east shore of Strangford Lough (or Strangeford as my mummy calls it).

It’s about 40 minutes from Belfast where we are staying and the car journey gives me a good opportunity to nap before our great adventure. It’s a grade A-listed building built for the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family, Marquess of Londonderry.

Their family played an important role in politics so I’m told and one name I recognise is Viscount Castleregh who acquired the house in 1821 after his father’s death, he was a very famous Foreign Secretary. He lived there during his childhood and what a beautiful place to live!

However, the main star of the show is the late, great Lady Londonderry who spent her time redesigning and planting the new gardens straight from her imagination. What creativity she had! Because of the milder climate, created by Strangford Lough, plants which could not otherwise have survived so far north have flourished here. This gave Lady Londonderry much more scope for her mediterranean themed gardens. The National Trust were left the gardens in 1957 so the public could enjoy their beauty too.

National Trust Mount Stewart 7We’ve wanted to visit this estate since we saw it featured in the film Dracula Untold recently at the cinema. The ‘Spanish Garden’ was transformed into Dracula’s Castle for the film and it’s not the first time National Trust properties in Northern Ireland have been used as filming locations.

Across Strangford Lough, via the ferry, is a National Trust estate called Castle Ward which was heavily featured in Game of Thrones. *We make a note to visit there also on our Northern Ireland tour.

Mount Stewart is located off the long and twisting coastal Portaferry Road which hugs Lough Strangford. It’s a beautiful car journey to the estate from Belfast through Newtownards.

Dear Mummy Blog at National Trust Mount Stewart 3The car park overlooks the Strangford Lough and the jungle-like path takes us to the visitors centre where we are warmly greeted by the friendly staff and ushered into the warm cafe.

They are serving Irish Stew and roasted carrot soup, so we grab some lunch before our epic walk outside in the cold.

It’s a bright sunny day and the sun is low in the December sky, some frost is still on the grass and the statues in the gardens are heavily wrapped in plastic to protect them from the Irish winter. It seems a bit warmer here than Belfast I think though.

My mummy is testing out her new camera today (Canon 700D) which she got for Christmas. She still has no real idea how to use it, but it’s good to get some quick practice in.

We head to the front of the house, which is currently being renovated and will re-open in Spring 2015. The National Trust have done a great job of keeping building work to a minimum so as not to ruin the surroundings. The gardens are peaceful and there aren’t many people around today.

Dear Mummy Blog at National Trust Mount StewartThe present-day estate of Mount Stewart extends to 98 acres with a large lake and many monuments and we try to see everything but it’s very cold so just visit the gardens and the lake. We try to do as much walking as possible to keep ourselves warm.

We miss out on the The Temple of the Winds and the Tír na nÓg (Irish for ‘Land of the Young’) burial ground. As it’s the winter season a lot of the stonework is covered up for protection and pathways are roped off because of icy conditions.

Dear Mummy Blog at National Trust Mount Stewart LakeUnfortunately we didn’t see any Red Squirrels. You see the ‘Ards Peninsula (where we are) currently has one of the largest populations of endangered red squirrels in Northern Ireland. We are told Mount Stewart is one of the best places to see them. Must be too cold to see them today and they aren’t in the trees or around the feeders. The National Trust prides itself on the conservation of these little creatures and organises trails around the estate to see them in their natural habitat.

After our hot Irish Stew we walk past the back of the house through the heavy ornate iron gates into the gardens.

On our left is The Sunken Garden at the west of the house and it was the second garden Edith, Lady Londonderry, embarked upon after the Italian Garden. A lot of people can hire this garden out for weddings and it’s a beautiful setting for photographs. It funny to think that before 1915 all these gardens used to be plain lawns, it’s much more interesting now!

Dear Mummy Blog at National Trust Mount Stewart  2Behind it lays the Shamrock Garden inspired by Irish mythology; the Red Hand of Ulster, The Formorians – a race of half human half demons and a children’s story carved in the topiary. It’s a fairly wacky garden and wouldn’t look out-of-place in Alice in Wonderland my mummy thinks.

It’s a really enchanting place and we spend time gazing at the hedges with characters growing out of them. There are water features with pools of ice and flowers in bloom like the Rhododendrons with dew on them, they look beautiful and like they might shatter into glass pieces if we were to touch them.

National Trust Mount Stewart 8We briefly visit the The Italian Garden and The Spanish Garden with ornate stone work pillars and a water parterre.

Mount Stewart is a great place to visit in the winter – just imagine how beautiful it would look in Spring and Summer. We can’t wait to return and see the roses in the walled garden when we visit relatives again. A lovely winter walk and well worth a trip for relaxation and reflection.

Love Bella x

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

N.Ireland Sunset at Newtownards

Christmas at Mottisfont, National Trust

Christmas at Mottisfont, National Trust

“The Nutcracker”

Today king of mice, tonight king of dolls. Tomorrow… king of EVERYTHING!
-Mouse King

Dear Mummy, it’s December and we are looking for fun things to do in Hampshire over the Christmas period. As you all know we’re big fans of The National Trust and have been members now since I was born. Each Christmas Mottisfont hold a Christmassy wonderland in their grounds and the house. If you don’t know what or where Mottisfont is, then head over here to check it out and have a look at some of my past reviews.

Mottisfont GroundsThis year the Mottisfont NT team have put on a spectacular display, it’s theme is The Nutcracker, where toys and fun comes to life!

The Nutcracker is based on the book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman. Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky wrote the music for the ballet which it is now most famous for. Over the Christmas period families flock to see the ballet, but this year The Nutcracker story is being hosted a bit closer to home in Romsey, Hampshire at Mottisfont, National Trust until Jan 4th 2015.

We were lucky enough to go on the opening day and weren’t disappointed with the weather either. It’s a bright and crisp day, the last day of November 2014 and there is a chill in the air. We wrap up warm and put our wellies on, as it’s especially muddy at Mottisfont at present, you see they have some building works happening at the entrance to the estate. The National Trust are creating a super-duper visitors centre which will be opening this time next year! Looking at the plans on the way in, it looks fab – very modern and in keeping with its surroundings.

So there is a temporary wooden chalet with pretty fairy lights to greet visitors to Mottisfont. It’s very quaint. No ducks are out on the river, as it’s too cold! The large trees are all bear, their huge branches looking creepy like something out of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ I half expect a headless horseman to appear out of the large trunks.

The Cafe has been swapped around since we last visited, which is a shame as the dinning areas seem a bit more cramped and the queues for food longer. It could be because its busy today….We grab some yummy Christmas Cake, a kids picnic box and some warm soup and a jacket potato. My mummy dives into the cake before she’s had the soup! I, on the other hand, am quite content to be a fidget-bum and terrorise the rest of the dinners by weaving in and out of the chairs and creating havoc. It’s all a bit stressful to get all of us sat down and eating, and mummy and daddy take turns to feed themselves then me. An elderly group sit next to us and just stare.

Mottisfont's ChristmasAfter lunch we head outside to explore, running around like mad loons on the grass – and that’s just mummy. You see my daddy is still not well, he had pneumonia and don’t think he’s fully recovered yet, so walks around finding it hard to breath.

We head into the house and follow The Nutcracker paper guide and activities (the printed map is a suggested donation of £1 and is a good keepsake) We follow Clara and other characters from The Nutcracker around the large manor house. First we stop to see the enormous size christmas tree and wrapped presents – the baubles are larger than my head! My uncle, cousin and daddy sit on the carpeted floor and play with some of the old-fashioned toys laid out (it’s all very civilised) well…it was until I decided to have a mad 5 minutes, jumping around and dancing to silent music.

The Nutcraker at MottisfontWe head down the pretty lit corridor to the large wooden staircase and see Herr Drosselmeyer (a character out of the Nutcracker) directing visitors upstairs to the dream mechanical world of the Nutcracker. We play peekaboo through the banisters and I get scared of the large wooden puppets, we don’t have time to sit and craft paper puppets, so my mummy takes them home for us to do later.

The next room is filled with clear little boxes. Inside these boxes are little mechanical toys. They look super cute – but on closer inspection and when daddy pushes the red buttons on the side of the display cases – they come to life! I get scared instantly and look away. However, my mummy is in her element, pressing each and every one of those red buttons and enjoying the displays. The weird and wonderful automata are on show from the famous Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. We eventually walk through Mottisfont’s art exhibition rooms, where the Nutcracker story is projected through film, showcasing an exciting battle between the Mouse King and the toy soldiers, artwork and activities (we won’t tell you too much as we don’t want to ruin the surprise for you if you decide to go) but it’s awesome. Beautiful little lantern theatres reveal more of the story.

Bella at MottisfontWe’ve been inside the house for nearly half an hour, and as the sun is shinning we head back outside to find the ‘Land of Sweets’ in the courtyard, a cuppa tea and some Christmas presents from the gift shop.

My mummy decides that sticky fingers shouldn’t be inside a gift shop and after picking up several times and being told to put them back, I’m safely escorted from the premises by daddy. However I do mange to convince them to buy this cute little pack of jingle bells for the tree….well, they aren’t really for the tree! I take two out and frantically wave them up and down, making the bells ring around the courtyard, people stop and stare and they sound very christmassy – just like reindeer bells I think. It’s not long before I’m trading one for a chocolate coin off my cousin..yes I’m really that devious. My mummy peals the golden wrapper off it and I devour the chocolate coin – my first one ever! Now that my cousin and I have bells we ring them together creating even more noise – its such fun!

The Winter Garden at Mottisfont Holding hands we all head to the ‘Land of Snow’ in the Winter Garden to take in the beautiful art installation by Sarah Filmer. Glass and perspex snowflakes hand from the tree and sparkle in the winter sunlight. The sun is bright and low in the sky and the snowflakes twinkle when the wind catches them, we also see large mirrored snow geese swooping up to a large oak tree.

I have fun chasing my cousin around down the windy paths and through the gates, I get very muddy after falling over a couple of times. My mummy however, is not horrified by that – I mean whats a bit of mud eh? What she IS horrified by though is other visitors reactions and judgment to seeing me covered in mud *Shock* Horror* covering their expressions….come on guys! It’s only a bit of mud…haven’t you ever seem a muddy child! Jeeeeze!

Mottisfont WinterThe temperature has dropped and we ahead back to the courtyard where I play in the learning and activity room, colouring in a gingerbread man and sticking little gems on him, while daddy warms up. On returning outside I see my opportunity to check out this large puddle which has been playing on my mind. I wanted to play in it earlier, but didn’t have the chance.

Now mummy and daddy are having a rest drinking their tea and watching me from afar I jump in. The puddle covers my feet so I can’t see them anymore, mummy and daddy are talking and I can hear them discussing about whether I’m ok jumping in that large puddle and what happens if I………oh dear. I’ve fallen over. Right in the puddle. Right on my bum. Water seeping into my boots. Doh! Oh well, at least mummy and daddy have ANOTHER spare set of clothes.

Needless to say on the way out we dodge all puddles……

There is mist coming off the River Test, when we leave at 4ish, we’ve lost the daylight and the half-moon is out, I eagerly point at it shouting ‘mooooom’. Its cold. Real cold. My cheeks are rosy and my fingers are like little icicles. We all bundle in the car and head home. I sing loudly all the way home (much to the annoyance of mummy).

If you love the Nutcracker story…or just love Christmas, then this is the place for you. It really will capture your imagination.

We were most impressed by the time and effort that went into the creation and preparation of the Land of Sweets by Mottisfonts Craft Group….so well done! It really was appreciated.

We had a fantastic day. I’m sure these photos say it all!

Love Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My weekend in pictures

Dear mummy, last weekend was such a whirlwind and what better way to showcase it than through images! We’ve linked up for the first time with @snowingindoors (who knows a thing or two about photography) and @youbabymemummy for ‘Point and Click’. We love trying out new Linkys and it gives my mummy and I a great opportunity to virtually meet up and comment on other bloggers posts too 🙂

My weekend in pictures If you haven’t heard my mummy attended #Blogfest at the weekend in the big smoke. London always lends itself to photo opportunities and mummy wasn’t disappointed when she reached Kings Cross and saw this giant poppy! She took my turtle on an adventure and he loved the tube. She was overwhelmed by the response to her post about Blogfest and here are some of the photos which were taken during the day too.

She’s already used her #clearaplate in support of Project Sunlight and filtered through her Blogfest goodie bag which was amazing (she’s currently eating the chocolate while writing this post) My mummy has also reviewed her notes from Blogfest with the view to put into practice some of the wise tips shared on the day.

My weekend in pictures 1

Sunday was a complete contrast to the previous day, my mummy was no longer in the industrial capital but infact outdoors at The Vyne, National Trust, which is our home away from home and the best woodland playground a little kid like me could ask for.

My weekend in pictures 3

It’s our local haunt and we’ve been many times as it’s just down the road from us. We loved finding all the ‘fire’ leaves as my mummy likes to call them, the gorgeous red and burnt orange leaves which are scattered on our walk. They are so beautiful and we couldn’t resist taking photos of them.

My weekend in pictures 4

We’re at home in the outdoors as a family, it’s the one place where we are truly free, we love mud, puddles and mucking around and hope these photos capture that!

lots of love Bella x

Mottisfont comes up smelling of Roses again!

Mottisfont comes up smelling of Roses again!

Every year Mottisfont host an internationally renowned heritage collection of 19th century roses which draws crowds in from far and wide. They flower just once a year in June so I made sure mummy booked some time in the calendar for us to see this unrivalled show.

Acclaimed horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas designed and planted the rose garden and brought his unique collection of shrub roses to Mottisfont in 1972. The walled garden is one of only 6 in the world to be in the Rose Garden Hall of Fame. Woweee mummy I feel privileged to see it!

Mottisfont Rose GardenThis is the second time we’ve visited the walled garden at Mottisfont when the roses have been at full bloom. My mummy took me last year when I was 4 months old, but I was really too young to see them in their full glory, I did enjoy smelling them though. Last year we posed by the glorious Kathleen Harrop roses in the Frameyard, where she grows on wall.Mottisfont Rose

So this year we return to the National Trust’s Mottisfont Estate, just outside Romsey in Hampshire. We’ve timed it just right, as Mottisfont’s collection of old-fashioned roses fill the Walled Garden with a beautiful color and scent. Our favourites are the ‘Yellow Pilgrims’ which greet you in the entrance to the gardens and the deep crimson ‘Ards Rover’ blooms.

Antique photos at MottisfontI can walk now so I follow my mummy around smelling the roses and lightly touching them, their soft velvet petals in my tiny hands. They look spectacular against the bright blue sky and the garden is full of different colours. We pick up a roses trail book which lists the top ten old-fashioned roses which Mottisfont grow.

‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ roses climb over the walls and the arches and are a beautiful pale pink rose, they were a Victorian favourite. We see them everywhere in the walled garden at Mottisfont. Roses aren’t the only blooms showing off in the gardens, there are also beautiful irises and shrubs which act as a backdrop to the display. We meet a friendly gardener who stops and chats to us for a little while. It’s very relaxed in the gardens and there is a gentle hum of people chatting, just like the humming of bees which collect pollen from the flowers. The roses will be in bloom until the end of this month and Mottisfont have extended their opening hours on some of the evenings, so make sure you visit after work or at the weekend to take in this stunning display.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Mottisfont Walled GardenWe took a picnic blanket and chilled with one of Mottisfont’s yummy ice creams and took in the scenery. This is the highlight of gardening year for us and we haven’t been disappointed.

Thanks Mottisfont! From your youngest fan. Bella x

Smelling the roses at Mottisfont