Garden News

What to see at Exbury - 24th 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 24th May: Masses of rhododendrons and azaleas in Home Wood, the Azalea Bowl and Top Pond

1. Iconic and atmospheric Azalea Bowl

When you're next at Exbury Gardens, make a bee-line for the Azalea Bowl, as it really is the prime vista here at Exbury at the moment. As we walked around this Monday morning, it felt like every aspect had something new to offer, with the azaleas at different stages of flowering. Below are just a small selection of the photographs we took as we walked around.

Azalea Bowl perspective | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Azalea Bowl from pink azalea perspective | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Azalea Bowl from fuscia azalea perspective | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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2. Flower-filled Home Wood

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

Home Wood is looking sensational at the moment and could be classed as the most spectacular area of the gardens during May, except for the Azalea Bowl of course. This area of the gardens was designed and planted in such a way that the azaleas, rhododendrons and the trees surrounding them, all compliment one another perfectly. Take a look at these beautiful vistas, all photographed this week in Home Wood.

Exbury House

Exbury House and azaleas and rhododendrons | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

The Old Bell

bell


The Glades from different perspectives

Home Wood views at Exbury Gardens, New Forest, Hampshire Home Wood in full bloom at Exbury Gardens, New Forest, Hampshire

 

There are masses of white azaleas, like those pictured earlier, and beautiful reds, pinks and purples, all lining the pathways.

Home Wood pink azaleas| Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Home Wood red and white azaleas| Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Home Wood acer and azalea vista | Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Home Wood purple azaleas| Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

 

Home Wood is also teeming with many breathtaking rhododendron plants, all with fascinating patterns or colour combinations, unique to our rare hybrid collection. Bees and other pollinators are absolutely buzzing for the bountiful blooms of our rhododendrons at the moment, can you spot the bee in one of the photos below?

Rhododendron arch | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron white and pink | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Pink rhododendron in Home Wood | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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3. Blooming lovely hybrids

Exbury Gardens is home to lots of rare and unique hybrids, many of which were created right here at Exbury. Here's a selction of some of our favourites that are flowering at the moment in the gardens.

Rhododendron 'Charlotte de Rothschild'

Rhododendron \'Charlotte de Rothschild\' | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron \'Charlotte de Rothschild\' name tag | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron Charlotte de Rothschild | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

This beautiful pink hybrid rhododendron is named after Charlotte de Rothschild, the famous soprano and classical singer. Charlotte grew up at Exbury and is currently a director of the charity. Her grandfather was the great horticulturalist, banker and founder of Exbury Gardens, Lionel de Rothschild. Rhododendron 'Charlotte de Rothschild' can be found throughout the gardens, those pictured above are located on the principal path above Top Pond.

Rhododendron 'Baron Lionel'

Rhododendron \'Baron Lionel\' | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron \'Baron Lionel\' name tag | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

This delicate and almost bell-like bloom is a unique Exbury hybrid called Rhododendron 'Baron Lionel' which we believe was named after Exbury's founder Lionel de Rothschild. This plant is located by Top Pond.

Rhododendron 'Fred Wynniatt'

Rhododendron 'Fred Wynniatt' at Exbury Gardens, New Forest, HampshireMentioned in last week's article, this uniquely patterned peach/yellow/pink rhododendron is named after one of Exbury's former head gardeners, Fred Wynniatt. This particular plant is located on Camellia Walk, on the left-hand side as you walk down towards View Point.

Rhododendron 'Pilgrim'

Rhododendron \'Pilgrim\' on path | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron \'Pilgrim\' name tag | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron \'Pilgrim\' | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Last, but most certainly not least, of the rhododendrons we wanted to highlight this week is Rhododendron 'Pilgrim'. This hybrid of Fortunei and 'Gill's Triumph' has crinkly pink flowers and can be found on Camellia Walk on the right-hand side as you walk down towards View Point.

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4. A secluded and tranquil viewpoint

Mrs Lionel's Seat | Spring | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

One of Exbury's lesser-known viewpoints, Mrs Lionel's Seat offers a stunning downhill view towards the Japanese Bridge. This unique outlook encapsulates bright fuchsia azaleas, plus ferns, acers and peiris on its way down towards Top Pond. There's a comfortable curved bench - Mr's Lionel's Seat - allowing you to leisurely take in the view in a fairly secluded spot, which has a relaxing air of tranquillity.

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5. Delightful scents surrounding Top Pond

Top Pond vista in May | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Deciduous azaleas orange and pink by Top Pond | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Deciduous azaleas yellow by Japanese Bridge | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire
Top Pond is always a favourite with families, particularly at the moment when the fish are very hungry! But it is also a favourite at the moment for everyone that visits Exbury, due to the delightful scenes and scents that encapsulate this iconic part of the gardens. In particular, yellow, orange and pink deciduous azaleas surround the pond and are smelling so sweet at the moment!

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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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