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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‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain their 3 and our 2 young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought I would just write to thank your team so much for such a wonderful day. There was something for all ages and when the children are happy so are us parents! We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. We told the children that if they ate all their lunch they could have a ride on the train and I haven’t seen 5 kids eat with so much enthusiasm for a very long time! Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. The children could not believe the size of the fish in the lake and it was a thoroughly fantastic day out for all ages. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway and Beaulieu was only 5 minutes away so we went to see the donkeys on the way home! We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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Head Gardener's Notice Board

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