Watching me grow at Mottisfont, National Trust

Roses at Mottisfont, National Trust

Dear mummy, every year we make our annual pilgrimage to Mottisfont, Hampshire to see their wonderful rose gardens. We’ve been visiting for years since I was a baby. My mummy has loved watching me grow, just like the gardens at this … Continue reading

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

Polesden Lacey, National Trust

Polesden Lacey National Trust

Friday 18, July 2014

Mummy and meDear mummy, our travels took us somewhere new last weekend. As we were driving back from London and the traffic was bad on the M25 we decided to take a quick detour via Leatherhead towards a little village called Bookham, in between Dorking and Guildford.

We had been told that Polesden Lacey, a National Trust Estate, was just round the corner. As we are members of the National Trust, it was a good opportunity to stop in and visit.

Front of the houseIt’s another fine day and the skies are blue. We drive up the long road through an impressive gate and up to the estate. The car park is a stones throw from the entrance to Polesden Lacey and it’s not too busy today.

We arrive at 2ish and grab our picnic blanket and get the sun cream out of the car, a quick nappy change in the toilets, which are cool and clean and I feel refreshed after my long car journey. A quick runaround is just what I need to stretch my little legs!

This place is beautiful! And is surrounded by rolling hills and stunning scenery. People are sat in deck chairs soaking up the sunshine.

Polesden Lacey viewsPolesden Lacey is an Edwardian House and estate and is located on the North Downs. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is very popular. The house originally was owned by Margaret Greville, a well-know Edwardian hostess. Who entertained royalty and the privileged. She was a close friend to Queen Mary and bequeathed all her jewels to Elizabeth the Queen Mother, including a diamond necklace belonging to Marie Antoinette!

She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1922 and her estate was bequeathed to the National Trust.

The grounds of the estate are extensive and we head off to see the house and take in the views. It is spectacular and you can see why King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon here! Mrs Greville’s collection of fine paintings and porcelain is displayed for visitors to see in the house. My mummy ducks in and has a quick look while daddy and I play on the lawn. The estate has a regal feel about it and we imagine young royals playing on the lawn as children.

Walled gardenWe explore the walled garden next, as it’s July the roses are still in bloom and they looked fabulous. Lavender lines the paved paths around the gardens and you could hear busy bees flying from one flower to another.

It was so peaceful here and we had the whole place to ourselves. Our favourite blooms were the snow white ‘Iceberg’ roses and the beautiful dip dyed yellow and pink ‘You’re Beautiful’ blooms. Both looked stunning against the deep blue sky.

Stone sculptures littered the formal gardens, some scary and some angelic. I was memorised by daddy blowing bubbles and followed them around the gardens chasing them with my hands. It was lovely to spend quality time with my daddy and we both lay down on the picnic blanket and stared at the sky. I nestled my head under his arm and we both chilled out.

Roses at Polesden LaceyBut not for long! Mummy had brought my ball with her and we played piggy in the middle, while I chased it on the grass in my bare feet. I loved the feeling of grass in-between my toes. Daddy carried me through the trees and I giggled in delight as we ducked and dived through the leaves as they brushed across my body.

On the way back we walked through the pleasure grounds and watched staff set up for a wedding, a lovely spot for one. It’s still very warm, so before we head back to the car we stop by the cafe opposition reception and have an ice cream.

My mummy goes to get my National Trust passport stamped (a collection of little stamps we’ve been acquiring on our trips around the National Trust estates) and we sit and enjoy the world go by.

My ice cream at Polesden LaceyA lovely short break in-between car journeys and we could have spent the whole day there! So much more to explore and we will be back.

Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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

 

Appleyard London

Appleyard London – Online Flower Boutique.

Dear mummy, we won some beautiful flowers off twitter recently! (wow mummy we never win anything)

Peering in the boxSo we were over the moon when the postman delivered them at the weekend. Gorgeous yellow roses arrived in a large stylish grey box. We had received the Standard Organic Nightgown and Rose Gift Set from Appleyard London flower boutique. See full description here. I had fun opening the box and peering inside. I think my mummy was equally as excited, who’s mummy doesn’t enjoy flowers?!? The box was nearly as big as me! But very light when mummy brought it into the house. The flowers were carefully wrapped in frosted white plastic and all we could see were the yellow blooms popping their heads out to say a cheery ‘hello’. They looked and smelt great. The nine Yellow Roses were combined with a scattering of Daisys. Appleyard London also guarantee 7 days of freshness. As I write this mini review, it’s been 4 days since we opened the box and they still look fab!

Appleyard London giftAppleyard London aren’t the run of the mill Inter-Flora, they create stunning displays and bouquets in gorgeous vintage inspired colours. They’re sure to put a smile on any new mums face. We like the fact that this gift also includes an organic newborn baby nightgown/sleepsuit from Little Rufus, which has no fiddley poppers, great for those first few nights getting back from hospital where parents are overwhelmed with dirty nappies, changing clothes, lack of sleep and feeding. The size of the nightgown is 0-3 months and it has clever fold-over sleeves to stop night-time scratching (so no scratch mitts required) and a fold-over foot base to keep little toes warm….not a popper in sight!! Really easy and convenient. Not just a bouquet of flowers, but a really practical gift as well.

The Yellow Roses in the bouquet are significant of Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight and a Promise of a new beginning. Perfect for welcoming a new baby into the world.

We hope you love these flowers as much as we do. Have a little nosey at Appleyard’s website to see the stunning array of flowers they provide. My mummy’s favourite collection is the Heritage collection that Applyard London create. Perfect for any occasion. Next time one of my mummy’s friends gives birth we are sure to order this wonderful gift. Flowers bring so much pleasure to people.

In the meantime I will continue to smell the roses, it makes a welcomed change from the stinky nappies.

Bella x

Appleyard RosesAppleyard NightgownLittle Rufus NighgoenAppleyard London Wrapped

Family Fever

Friday Sunshine at Mottisfont

Friday Sunshine at Mottisfont.

Friday, May 16th. 2014.

Mottisfont pana

Dear mummy, not only is Mottisfont hosting the ‘Gardens of Delight’ art exhibition in the house, their gardens are an absolute delight at this time of year!

Walled gardenWe’ve popped down a little earlier in the season than usual, as the weather has been so nice recently. Eagerly anticipating the early arrival of the beautiful roses. Last year we saw them when I was VERY little.

Even though it’s mid May we weren’t disappointed! We know the roses are usually in full bloom mid-June so were pleasantly surprised by how colourful the walled garden looked today!

When we arrived at Mottisfont, mummy laid out the picnic blanket and I played on the lawn in front of the house while mummy chilled out on the blanket reading her book. It was all very civilised. The sun was very hot and bright so mummy kept topping me up with sun-cream and water. I loved playing on this safe large patch of grass and the scenery was beautiful. It’s not my first trip to Mottisfont, as mummy and I go quite regularly. The last epic adventure we had was for the Snow Queens Ball back in Feb, but we love walking on the grounds in between events.

Upside down ice cream Today the gardens are just coming into bloom and the backdrop of the blue sky make for some perfect photographs. As always the staff stopped to chat to me (not really my mummy as she’s a bit boring!) and asked if I was enjoying myself..I think the smile gave it away!

We had lunch alfresco and mummy had a lovely slice of lemon cake and a cup of Earl Grey. I enjoyed Ham Sandwiches and grapes, I even managed to squeeze in a sneaky ice cream, even though it ended badly as I was eating it upside down!

I fell asleep in the Winter Garden like I usually do, the bumpy footpath and snooze shade doing their job. As a result I slept for over an hour which gave my mummy an opportunity to sit in the walled garden and take photographs of the pretty flowers.

IrisShe’s a bit excited for June! A lot of “Ohhhhh’s and Ahhh’s” were whispered. They also have a sale on in the National Trust shop, so my mummy picked up a few bits and pieces. Including “That’s not my Tractor” book.

When I woke we went inside the house to escape the afternoon sun and visited the ‘Gardens of Delight’ exhibition. I was carried through the rooms and I pointed out my favourite acrylic paintings. We met some lovely National Trust Staff who commented that I was the youngest visitor to the exhibition that day. It was lovely and cool inside and I enjoyed climbing up and down the large staircases….up and down and up and down….Phew!

Mottisfont 4We ended up enjoying the last of the late afternoon sun on the lawn, under a tree on mum’s picnic blanket. I sat and finished my juice and chased a crow, we looked at a swan and lay on the ground staring at the deep blue sky. It was really peaceful and a day I won’t forget for a long time.

Thank you mummy for chasing me around, smothering me in sun-cream and for playing ball with me. I loved mucking around rolling on the grass, eating the grass and sticking it to my face. By the end of the day I was covered in sticky strawberry ice-cream, sun-cream, grass and tree blossom….the way it should be!

For more details about Mottisfont, visit my earlier diary entries about last years roses here, and the Lichfield exhibition here.

Love Bella xx

P.s My favourite flower in the walled garden was this fantastic ‘Iris King’ he looked stunning in full glory.

Iris King

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall