Garden News

What to see at Exbury - 17th May

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 17th May: Peak flowering in Home Wood and at the Azalea Bowl

1. See peak flowering in Home Wood

Around every corner and on every path in Home Wood rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom. Here are just some of the views you can look forward to experiencing in Exbury's Home Wood at the moment:

#1 Bountiful blooms overhanging pathways

Pink rhododendron and acer in Home Wood | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

#2 Rhododendrons from floor to sky

Home Wood | Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

#3 Bright conclaves of deciduous and evergreen azaleas (and plentiful rhododendrons)

Azaleas in Home Wood | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

The scents from this yellow deciduous azalea is simply delightful.

#4 Rhododendrons at phenomenal heights

Pink rhododendron by Cedars of Lebanon | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Those Cedars of Lebanon in the background are 100s of feet tall.

#5 The close-up beauty of rhododendron blooms

Rhododendron and bluebells | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Yellow rhododendron in Home Wood | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

#6 Bright azaleas lining grass and gravel pathways

Azaleas all in a row in Home Wood | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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2. Walk the principal path towards the Azalea Bowl

As you walk along the principal path towards the Azalea Bowl, the path is lined with beautiful 'walls' of azaleas and bountiful rhododendron blooms overhead. 

Principal path | Rhododendrons and azaleas | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Some of the rhododendrons along this pathway have such interesting colouring and patterns. The pink, yellow and peach one below, that is coloured quite like a fruit salad sweet, is Rhododendron Fred Wynniatt and named after one of Exbury's former head gardeners. The white, delicate species also pictured is called Rhododendron Butterfly and are abundant in this area of the gardens.

Fruit pastel coloured rhododendron on the principal path at Exbury Gardens, New Forest, Hampshire Butterfly rhododendron | rhododendron garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

By Top Pond we also have some deliciously scented deciduous azaleas. These are so bright and contrasting to the pinks and purples of our evergreen azaleas, and against a backdrop of bluebells, it's quite a stunning sight to see.

Deciduous azaleas yellow | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Deciduous azaleas orange | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Moving closer towards the Azalea Bowl, pinks, purples and whites intertwine to create these spectacular facades of colour. This scene could almost be a painting with the colours so delicately weaved in with one another.

Purple and pink azaleas mixing | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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3. Exbury's piece de resistance - the Azalea Bowl

Azalea Bowl bench | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

By far, Exbury's piste de resistance is the Azalea Bowl. This area is so peaceful, protected by wonderful overhanging woodland and surrounded by the spectacular Rothschild azalea collection. The reflections on the water of the bright pinks and purples create an air of the supernatural, which may seem exaggerative. But honestly, there truly is something magical about the Azalea Bowl in May.

Red and pink azaleas | Azalea Garden | Azalea Bowl | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Azalea Bowl at Exbury | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Pink azaleas and rhododendrons | azalea garden, rhododendron garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Primula at azalea bowl, Exbury Gardens, New Forest, Hampshire

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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.

Click to learn about membership

‘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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