Thirty-seven weary but very happy sun-soaked members and friends returned to Donnington after a splendid visit to the National Trust property of Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens on 14th June. As a private property, the House was crafted from a medieval priory and became the lifelong country home of Maud Russel and her husband, Gilbert. These are really lovely gardens, containing over 35 different species of mature trees in the grounds, and are in one of Hampshire’s most idyllic locations, beside a man-made and fast-flowing stretch of the River Test which was created to bring the River closer to the House and which hosts some impressive trout and salmon.
The crystal-clear waters skirt a lawn, with wild areas and more formal gardens designed in the 1930’s by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, featuring a pleached lime avenue, under-planted with early bulbs. The walled, former kitchen garden is the famous feature of early summer in the 25-acre garden, and contains a wonderful display of old-fashioned roses, supported by an impressive array of herbaceous plants. It all made a wonderful scene on a very hot and sunny day, and the delicious perfume and the buzzing of many bees all added to the Members’ enjoyment. Thanks go to Debbie Northdale for organising such a successful event. AH
Photographs courtesy of Lawrence Holloway