Juliet's Jottings

Bolete fungus

Signs of Autumn - 30th September 2016

The year is moving along and there are now definite signs of autumn in the Gardens. Some trees have begun to shed their leaves, as can be seen...

Red Admiral

Autumn Butterflies - September 2016

There are quite a number of butterflies around at present. Beautiful fresh-looking Red Admirals are nectaring on flowers or basking in the sun...

1st pic

Hawkers - September 2016

September is the month for hawkers. Hawkers are medium to large dragonflies with a restless hawking flight... 

Common Darter

More About Dragonflies - September 2016

There are various different groups of dragonflies, not all of which are called "dragonfly". There are darters and hawkers and chasers as well as plain "dragonflies"...

emperor dragonfly

Dragonflies - August 2016

At this time of the year most of the damselflies are over, but there are plenty of dragonflies still around. In fact, this year, they seem to have emerged quite late...

gatekeepr male

Gatekeeper Butterflies - July 2016

On Daffodil Meadow Gatekeeper butterflies are at their peak. These small bright orangey-brown butterflies are often the last of the browns to emerge...

adult martin at nest

Update on House Martins - June 2016

The House Martins at their colony on the water tower are well into their nesting season. Of the eight nests which I am watching...


Lime Tree - June 2016

There is a magnificent lime tree on the main drive near Exbury House. From a distance it appears to be in full flower...


Wildflowers in May & early June - 6th June 2016

Wildflowers are beginning to come into their own. A delicate-looking white umbellifer is flowering in profusion in Daffodil Meadow. 

DAVE0025 copy

House Martins - May 2016

The house martins at their colony on Exbury Water Tower have been busy since their return in early May.  The numbers have built up gradually, with nest reconstruction their first job. 

Sweet violets

Spring Wildflowers - 29th April 2016

"I know a bank where the wildflowers grow...." , to misquote the Bard, and this is the time to come and see them.


Animal Signs: Hedgehogs and Kestrels - 23rd April 2016

Hedgehogs have been in the news recently, with conservationists asking gardeners to provide gaps in their fences to allow hedgehogs to roam around looking for food. 

Evernia prunastri

Lichens - 11th April 2016

What is a lichen?  It is a composite organism consisting of a fungus and one or more algae. The fungus provides the body, and the algae produce nutrients through photosynthesis.


Birdsong - 27th March 2016

Birdsong is gathering pace as the resident species claim their territories, look for partners and prepare for the breeding season.

Male Brimstone

First Butterfly - 17th March 2016

It is always exciting when the first spring butterflies are sighted. On a mild and sunny morning in mid-March I saw three Brimstone butterflies, two males and one female...


Goshawk - 20th February 2016

In late January a dead bird of prey was picked up in the Winter Garden by some of the gardeners who were working there.


Bird Boxes - 27th January 2016

Birds are not the only creatures attracted to nest boxes: spiders, woodlice, beetles and all manner of other creepy crawlies take refuge there, often making it their winter home.

‘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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What to see in the garden on your visit


Juliet’s Jottings

What wildlife to spot in the gardens








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