Garden News

What to see at Exbury - summer gardens

Every week the staff here at Exbury will be compiling their must-sees in the gardens, focusing on a different area or garden each week. We hope that you will be able to use this as a snappy guide when visiting and that our favourite viewpoints, blooms and garden features might become your favourites too.

Focus 6th July: two of our summer gardens, the Centenary Garden and the Sundial Garden.

 

1. Vibrant dahlias with interesting names

As summer gardens, both the Herbaceous Garden and the Sundial Garden boast beautiful displays of vibrant dahlias. The Sundial Garden, in particular, has some stunning varieties putting on colourful shows at the moment. Pictured below are Dahlia ‘Fire and Ice’ and the tall Collarette Dahlia ‘Pooh’. Can you guess which is which by their names?

Dahlia Pooh | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Dahlia Fire and Ice | Summer gardens| Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Interesting fact: Dahlias are not usually scented and attract pollinating insects with their bright colouring.

 

2. Unique resting spots

Wisteria | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, HampshireIt is impossible for anyone to visit the Sundial Garden and not to sit under the wisteria which, although not flowering at the moment, is a stunning sight from all angles. Sitting beneath the pergola, hidden away, shaded by overhead branches and bathed in the unique green haze produced by sun filtering through leaves, you can feel as if you are the only person in the whole world.

Green wisteria pergola | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Sundial seat view | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

The Centenary Garden has been planted so that one side mirrors the other and this can be seen best from the curved bench at the very back of the garden. From this viewpoint, the midsummer flowers, ornamental grasses, roses and shaped shrubs, can all be taken in at once, giving a sense of cohesion and clarity that is very much needed in these uncertain times.

Centenary Garden bench | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Centenary Garden bench view | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

 

3. Flowering bee-magnets in the Centenary Garden

A number of perennials are flowering at the moment in the Centenary Garden and add pops of colour in this contemporary space. If you walk around slowly you’ll see lots of bumble bees and pollinating insects enjoying spiky Eryngium (sea holly) × zabelii 'Big Blue', neon pink Penstemon ‘Garnet’ and tall soft purple Veronicastrum ‘Adoration’, all pictured below.

Penstemon \'Garnet\' | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Eryngium (sea holly) × zabelii \'Big Blue\' | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Veronicastrum \'Adoration\' | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

 

4. The calming sway of ornamental grasses

Marie-Louise Agius, the designer of our Centenary Garden, uses ornamental grasses to add an element of calm to our newest garden. A range of grasses have been expertly planted to add movement, height, texture and depth. These include, Hakonechloa macra, Anemanthele lessoniana, Miscanthus ‘Yakushima Dwarf’ and Stipa gigantea (some pictured below). Their movement creates a soothing affect, which is sensory in both sound and sight. Watch as they sway, rustle and ‘breath’ with the wind.

Hakonechloa macra | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Anemanthele lessoniana | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Ornamental grass | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Ornamental grasses | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Large ornamental grass | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

 

5. Two types of elegant lilies

Daylily Hermerocallis Hyperion | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

In the Centenary Garden you’ll see throngs of sunny Hermerocallis ‘Golden Chimes’ (pictured above) - the genus Hermerocallis being known to many as daylilies. Pass through the hedge to the Sundial Garden, another summer garden, and you’ll see bands of elegant Oriental lilies (pictured below), sometimes called true lilies, belonging to the genus Lilium.

Interestingly, daylilies and liliums, although somewhat similar in appearance, are not in fact related. To list just a few of these differences: Daylilies grow from roots and liliums from bulbs; liliums have a single stem whereas daylilies have multiple stems; liliums always have six petals yet daylilies have three petals and three sepals.

Lily | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Lily burgundy | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Lily pink | Summer gardens | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Would you like to experience the changing seasons at Exbury this year?

Purchase your Friends of Exbury membership today and discover 200 acres of natural beauty and wildlife all year round.

Click to learn about membership

‘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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