Garden News

What to see at Exbury - 12th April

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

1. Beginnings of azalea flowering

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!

azalea-1We'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. 

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2. Ponds and streams

streams-3Exbury 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.

Streams-2 Streams-1

3. Rhododendron awakenings

rhodo-1 rhodo-tree rhodo-4

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.

new-bed pearl-betteridge stocker

4. Continued camellia flowering

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.

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If you are interested to know more about camellias, our Head Gardener Tom has created this excellent YouTube about these floriferous and hardy plants:

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5. Final show for the magnolias

magnoliaRecent 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!

Would you like to experience the changing seasons at Exbury this year?

Purchase your Friends of Exbury membership for just £48 today and discover 200 acres of natural beauty and wildlife all year round.

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‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. 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. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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