The Gardens

A visitor once described Exbury Gardens as ‘Heaven with the gates open’. It is a garden for people young and old, horticulturalist or enthusiastic gardener, or just a lover of beautiful places.

Lionel de Rothschild was a keen collector of plants and he was also a highly successful hybridiser of many different species and Exbury is still filled with his creations. This tradition has been continued by his descendants, Edmund and Leopold and his grandsons, Nicholas and Lionel who actively continue to develop the gardens to this day.

Lionel had several strands in his hybridisation programme but it was generally

dominated by a desire to produce increased hardiness, better flowers and improved flowering.

In the years that Lionel devoted to Exbury, he was innumerable crosses of which he kept only the best. His stud book records 1210 hybrids that he considered successful. He further analysed these and decided that 452 were worthy of being individually named and registered with the Royal Horticultural Society.

Subsequent generations have continued to hybridise and Rothschild crosses continue to grace the show benches of the RHS.

‘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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