20181025_Water birds_juliets jottings

Water Birds

25th Oct 2018

Wildlife enthusiast and resident volunteer at Exbury, Juliet, describes the different types of water birds that inhabit the estuary.

Large Emerald


23rd Aug 2018

Wildlife enthusiast and resident volunteer at Exbury, Juliet, describes the different types of moths that inhabit our gardens.


Summer butterflies and wildlife

9th Aug 2018

Wildlife enthusiast and resident volunteer at Exbury, Juliet, describes how the recent dry weather is affecting summer wildlife.

Purple Hairstreak banner 3

Rarely seen Purple Hairstreak butterflies

8th Aug 2018

Wildlife enthusiast and resident volunteer at Exbury, Juliet, describes a recent rare wildlife sighting: Purple Hairstreak butterflies.

Buff-tailed bumblebee r

Bumblebees Blog - June 2018

21st Jun 2018

The late spring this year has not been kind to our insects. They seem to be in lower numbers than usual, which is bad news for all the other species in the food chain above them. Birds, for instance, need copious supplies of insects to feed their young, and flowering plants need their pollinators.

house martins collecting mud

House Martins - June 2018

21st Jun 2018

The colony of house martins which nest on the water tower at the Estate Office entrance to Exbury Gardens is one of the largest in Hampshire. The nests are tucked up under the overhang of the roof on all four sides of the tower.

Broad bodied Chaser

June 7th - Early Odonata  (damselflies and dragonflies)

19th Jun 2018

The recent hot weather has encouraged the spring damselflies and dragonflies to emerge. One of the most noticeable of the blue damselflies loves to bask on waterlily leaves or other floating vegetation

coal tit

May Bird Blog - 29th May 2018

29th May 2018

The annual bird walk, which is held in May to estimate the number of species that breed in the Gardens, recorded 51 species this year. 

carpet of primroses

Spring Blog - 30th April 2018

30th Apr 2018

The variable weather this spring has made life a little confusing for both plants and animals. Breeding and migration were put on hold when the snow came...

Rhododendron Calophytum 1

Head Gardener's Blog - Spring

23rd Apr 2018

After one of the wettest, coldest and longest winters that anyone can remember it comes as a massive relief to finally see the Gardens springing into life.

Bee Moth

Nest Boxes - February 2018

8th Feb 2018

The nest boxes on Jubilee Hill were cleaned out at the beginning of the month. There was nesting material in three of them, but no obvious signs of an old nest, whereas three had clearly been used in 2016. 

Magpie inkcap (young)

Fungi Surveys - November 2017

22nd Nov 2017

  • The annual fungus survey at Exbury Gardens was completed this week. Two groups, the Lymington Naturalists and the Hampshire Recording Group scoured...

Malus x robusta Red Sentinel

Autumn in the Gardens

16th Oct 2017

One of the many privileges of being Head Gardener at Exbury is being able to watch the garden change throughout the seasons, this is never more obvious or beautiful than in October and November when the transition between summer and autumn begins...

Eng garden

The English Garden Magazine

12th Oct 2017

We were delighted and very honoured to feature in the October issue of The English Garden magazine and are very pleased to share it with you.


Autumn Glories Blog - 2nd October 2017

2nd Oct 2017

A kingfisher has been frequenting Top Pond. It sits in a tree on the island. Given the size of the carp in the lake you might wonder what it is eating. The fact is that kingfishers take a wide variety of prey including insects, spiders and centipedes.

large white open

White Butterflies - 29 August 2017

29th Aug 2017

White butterflies are much in evidence at this time of year. Most people know the familiar "Cabbage White" but in fact this is two species: Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Small White. In appearance, the Large White can be identified by size, by more extensive black on the wing tips and in the female by two large black spots on the upper wing...

Hydrangea Paniculata 1

High Summer - 17 August 2017

17th Aug 2017

As with any garden, the weather at Exbury plays a huge part in how the garden is presented to the visitors and of course how the plants behave. This happens in a myriad of different ways from how they form buds for next year’s show of flowers...

Bombus lucorum

Bumblebees - 15th August 2017

15th Aug 2017

There's more to a bumblebee than you might think.  To begin with there are 22 species in the British Isles, of which 7 are common and widespread. You could expect to find all these seven species in the average garden.

Gatekeeper male open

More About Butterflies - 1st August 2017

1st Aug 2017

This summer has been kind to butterflies, or it was until the recent rains and squally weather. In spite of this deterioration there are still good numbers flying...

Meadow Brown

Summer Butterflies - 10 July 2017

10th Jul 2017

This warm summer has give the butterflies a bit of a boost. For the first time in several years White Admirals were gliding along the wooded edge of Jubilee Pond. This is one of our less common species...


Mammals - 3 July 2017

3rd Jul 2017

It's always a treat to come across a mammal when walking around the Gardens: birds, bees, grasshoppers, butterflies are all expected and easy to see. But coming across this young fawn lying up in its "form" in the long grass was completely unexpected...

Rock rose-Cistus-in rock garden

Flowering Update for Mid Summer

22nd Jun 2017

In 1919 when the Gardens at Exbury were first laid out by Lionel de Rothschild it very soon became apparent that although the pH of the soil was very favourable for the cultivation of Rhododedrons the climate was far from perfect and for this we have to thank the Isle Of Wight...

Azure damselfly

Dragons and Damsels - 21 June 2017

21st Jun 2017

Damselflies can be seen around the edges of most of the ponds at Exbury. They are slender, threadlike insects, mainly coloured blue or red, which when perched hold their wings along their body...

Small copper

Spring Butterflies - 8th June 2017

8th Jun 2017

A good variety of spring butterflies were on the wing in late May. Especially pleasing was the sighting of a Green Hairstreak. This tiny butterfly actually looks brown in flight, which is the colour of the top side of its wings...

Vireya 1-029

Flowering Conditions - Early Summer

26th May 2017

There was great excitement this week in the gardens team when we received a parcel of young Vireyas, a little sub-group within the Rhododendron genus...

Holly flowers

Deciduous Trees & Their Flowers - 22 May 2017

22nd May 2017

At this time of year it's worth looking closely at deciduous trees, including our native trees, which are producing the flowers which later turn into seeds, nuts or fruit. Most are not flamboyant and some are scarcely noticeable...

toad tadpoles at North Pond

Tadpoles Blog - 9 May 2017

9th May 2017

North Pond where there is now a railway halt has a good crop of tadpoles this year. They are "toadpoles", which differ from "frogpoles" in that as they develop they stay darker...

Song thrush

Song Thrushes - 5 May 2017

5th May 2017

Song thrushes are in full voice all over the Gardens. Their fluty whistle, repeating each phrase twice, can be heard ringing out where they sing from high perches...

Wood anemones

Wildflower Blog - 18 April 2017

18th Apr 2017

Exbury has never looked so good. Blossom and colour is everywhere, and this early spring has brought on the wildlfowers as well.

pond 2-102 - Copy

Flowering Update - April 2017

14th Apr 2017

As I sit and type this for the Head Gardeners notice board, the garden here at Exbury is literally bursting into life, and with it the full ambition of Lionel de Rothschild’s original design...