Garden News

What to see at Exbury - 3rd 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 3rd May: Azalea Bowl, rhododendrons and azaleas on the principal paths, Exbury's New River Walk, Azalea Drive and bluebells in Yard Wood

1. Azalea Bowl on the verge of its peak

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

If you're looking for that 'wow' moment when visiting Exbury Gardens, the Azalea Bowl is definitely somewhere you need to visit. Even now, just before its peak flowering, these ponds surrounded by azaleas and acers have such a peaceful atmosphere and beauty that cannot be described. 

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2. Rhododendrons and azaleas on the principal paths

Rhododendrons and azaleas on principal paths | Rhododendron and azalea garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire
Exbury has many meandering paths - it's been rumoured to be around 22 miles of pathways, in fact - and the principal paths around Home Wood are full of beautiful sights at the moment. These are gravel paths that connect to the Main Drive and are wonderful narrow and enclosed areas, great for seeing burgeoning rhododendrons and azaleas.

Azaleas on principal paths | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendrons on principal paths | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Pink rhododendron on principal paths | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

This merger of pink and purple azalea shrubs is at the cross-roads between Lovers' Lane and the principal path that leads to the Iris Garden. There's also a lovely little bench here, which is great for photos! 

Pink and purple azaleas on principal path | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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3. Exbury's New River Walk

Over the winter period our gardeners and maintenance teams have worked hard to turn this rarely-used area of the gardens into our New River Walk, which has excellent views of the Beaulieu River! We will be officially be opening this area during the summer but it is currently open for visitors to have a sneaky walk through at the moment. On our walk, we were lucky enough to spot a deer on the riverbank!

New River Walk | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Daffodil Meadow | Beaulieu River view | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Deer | New River Walk | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

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4. Azalea Drive - not just azaleas!

Bluebells on Azalea Drive | Bluebell Wood | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

There are swathes of bluebells, vibrant acers, bulbous rhododendrons and of course bright azaleas flourishing on Azalea Drive at the moment.

Azaleas and rhododendrons on Azalea Drive | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendrons and azaleas on Azalea Drive | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Azalea Drive | Azalea Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

We'd recommend walking along the whole of Azalea Drive if you can, all the way up to the American Garden and right back down to Exbury House. There is honestly something stunning to see at all spots along this tarmacked path, which is great for wheelchair users or families with children in prams. Azalea Drive is an excellent path to see our fantastic range of hybrid rhododendrons, most of which have huge flowers! Here's our top picks for rhododendrons on Azalea Drive at the moment:

Rhododendron red | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron yellow | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Pink rhododendron | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron cream pink | Rhododendron Garden | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Rhododendron purple | Rhododendron Garden | 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.

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‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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