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