Every week the staff here at Exbury will be compiling their must-sees in the gardens, focusing on different areas or seasonal plants. We hope that you will be able to use this as a snappy guide when visiting and that our favourite viewpoints, blooms and garden features might become your favourites too.
Focus 12th April: azaleas, ponds and streams, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias
Azaleas are just beginning to emerge into their stunningly floriferous bushels. You'll see pops of cerise, mauve and white on your walks through the gardens, but this particular plant, located just north of the Wiggly Tree, is definitely the showstopper of this week!
We're now moving into our peak season for azaleas and just can't wait to see our paths lined with these beautiful plants in full bloom.
Exbury has multiple ponds around the gardens and has recently investing in creating new ponds in the northern section of the gardens. All of our ponds are sources of beauty year-round and at the moment, with pockets of spring bulbs surrounding them, it's definitely a great time to sit on one of our benches and take in the scenery! Above is the northern entrance to Top Pond. Here, the acer on the left-hand side has recently gained back its leaves, which are a beautiful rich red colour. Below are two views of the Cascades, which stream down from Top Pond, towards the Beaulieu River. Always worth walking past, especially at the moment with the snowdrops and daffodils on the banks.
As the early-flowering rhododendrons begin to go over, the rest of our world-famous rhododendron collection are starting to wake up. As you walk around the gardens you'll see lots of red and pink rhododendron flowers high above the shrubs and trees, as well as established plants with bouncy blooms lining the paths. In particular, take a stroll to My Eddy's Seat to see the large yellow heads of Rhododendron Fortune:
We also have a number of fairly new raised beds, with young rhododendron plants. This bed (below), which is by Top Pond has two varieties: The yellow Rhododendron Pearl Betteridge and the pink/white Rhododendron Doctor Stocker. Both varieties are starting to open up and will be looking lovely in weeks to come.
Camellias are still flowering in the gardens and looking just lovely at the moment. These three were photographed just south of the Stone Bridge near Bottom Pond, on the Old River Walk Path. But both Camellia Walks still have beautiful blooms, which is why we'd recommend taking a stroll down them before they go over soon.
If you are interested to know more about camellias, our Head Gardener Tom has created this excellent YouTube about these floriferous and hardy plants:
Recent frost have depleted some of our magnolia flowers but those situated in sheltered regions of the gardens are looking lovely in the recent sunshine. Just like this one, situated just south of the Sundial Garden exit, adjacent to Daffodil Meadow. See if you can find it this weekend!
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