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

‘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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