Garden News

Exbury Gardens 1919 - 2019

Exbury Director, Lionel de Rothschild, discusses the formation of Exbury Gardens in this article recently published in the Rhododendron Species Foundation Yearbook. Lionel relays family anecdotes about his grandfather's meticulous nature, his passion for unique collections and the historical figures that inspired and advised him in the creation of Exbury's beautiful 200 acres.

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Lionel de Rothschild, grandfather of the author and founder of Exbury Gardens

"One hundred years ago my grandfather and namesake, Lionel de Rothschild, embarked upon the creation of his garden at Exbury, a woodland garden devoted above all to rhododendrons. By the time he died, aged only 60 in 1942, his garden covered some 200 acres (81 ha), and I have been told that had he lived, he had intended to incorporate a further wood to the north, partly in order to have the longest possible drive through the gardens to the house.

"I did not know him, but all I have heard points to a man of drive and passion. He was also a man of good taste and determined to create not just a botanical collection but also a landscape garden with plants carefully placed using the contours of the land. In this he was inspired by William Robinson and also by James Hudson..."

To read the full article, click here.


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Lionel de Rothschild with his dogs in front of a bank of azaleas

‘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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