Exbury Gardens marks diamond anniversary of its famed Azalea Bowl

3rd May 2024

The Azalea Bowl, a firm visitor favourite that blossoms in April/May in a kaleidoscope of reds, shocking pinks, purples and whites, is marking its 60th anniversary with a sparkling flowering season, thanks to high rainfall and, to date, no late harsh spring frosts.


Planted in 1964 by former head gardener Freddie Wynniatt, under the guidance of then owner Edmund de Rothschild, it surrounds a large pond in the Gardens. It has witnessed numerous marriage proposals and its peak flowering season is always keenly awaited by visitors.


The Gardens team are running special azalea-themed guided tours and visitors are being encouraged to share their photographs taken in the Azalea Bowl over the years on social media, tagging #exburyazaleabowl.


Head gardener Tom Clarke said: “The Azalea Bowl is such a magical place and when it’s in full bloom, it’s almost other-worldly. Very fitting that on its 60th anniversary, the plants are looking magnificent as we’ve had so much rain recently, with no late frosts. Our garden team and visitors  are really enjoying the spectacle of it and we expect it to flower well into early May.”


During the rest of the year, the Azalea Bowl becomes a peaceful space in dappled shade where visitors can pause and reflect, and admire the tranquil beauty of the surrounding woodland landscape.