The Gardens

Exbury Gardens were the inspiration of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild. It was his vision, his dedication and his resources which have created one of the finest woodland gardens in the country.

A visitor once described Exbury as “Heaven with the gates open.” It is a garden for people young and old, horticulturalist or enthusiastic gardener, or just a lover of beautiful places. From botanical rarities to masses of spectacular colour, there is something for all to enjoy – a place to escape from the cares of the world.

Lionel de Rothschild was a keen collector of plants, particularly rhododendrons and azaleas.

He was also a highly successful hybridizer of many different species and Exbury is still filled with his creations. This tradition has been continued by his descendants, his sons Edmund and Leopold and grandsons Nicholas and Lionel, who actively continue to develop the gardens to this day.

Both Lionel and Edmund, who passed away in 2009 aged 93, were awarded the highest possible honour by the RHS in recognition of their horticultural achievements – the Victoria Medal of Honour. Father and son were described as “bankers by hobby, and gardeners by profession” and their Exbury legacy is today enjoyed by an annual 100,000 plus visitors from all corners of the world.

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‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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Head Gardener's Notice Board

What to see in the garden on your visit

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Juliet’s Jottings

What wildlife to spot in the gardens

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