Garden News

What to see at Exbury - Top Pond

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 24th June: Top Pond and the encompassing shaded paths.


1. The ombre of pink to white on flowering dogwoods

A number of cornus – or flowering dogwoods, as they are more commonly known - are blooming at the moment around Top Pond. Some of these bushy trees and shrubs display a distinctive ombre effect to their flower bracts, as shown in the image below.Flowering dogwoods cornus | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire


2. The joyful swimming of fish in the pond

Top Pond is teeming with giant koi carp and golden orfe, which are always popular with families. One of our favourite things to do is stand on one of the stone platforms (shown in the images below) and watch as they all congregate. Sometimes, they might even jump out of the water or poke their mouths out, ready for a treat.

Fish and stone platform | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Open-mouthed fish | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Congregating fish | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Please note that fish food is currently not available to purchase at the Visitor Entrance, due to COVID-19 safety measures.


3. The tranquil melody of descending water

If you walk to the western side of Top Pond, you'll come to some stone steps that take you down towards the Beaulieu River. As you walk, you'll hear the flowing of water trickling over what we've named 'The Cascades'. These stone waterfalls transport water from Top Pond, into the Azalea Bowl and all the way out to the river. 

Cascades | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire


4. The unique adaptations of plants in nature

When you think of wisterias, swathes of purple or white overhanging pergolas or freestanding structures immediately spring to mind. But what happens in nature where there are no man-made structures? Well oak trees of course! Well, that's the case at Exbury anyway. This specimen of winding wisteria is located to the south of Top Pond, by an entrance to Camellia Walk. Now that the flowers have passed for the year, the stems of wisteria twirling its way around this oak tree can be seen in all of their glory.

Winding wisteria and oak tree | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire Oak tree and winding wisteria | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire

Another interesting plant that's located fairly close to Top Pond is an Oriental Plane Tree - affectionately named the ‘Wiggly Tree’ by the many children that have enjoyed these gardens over the past century. The curving branches have grown in such an unsual manner that this tree is quite an exceptional sight to see, especially up close. 

Wiggly Tree - Oriental Plane Tree | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire


5. The enchanting scene set by the Japanese Bridge

The Japanese Bridge is situated to the east of Top Pond and at the bottom of the stream that flows from Mrs Lionel’s Seat. This is a fabulous spot to take photographs - being a favourite on our social media channels - and is probably one of the most romantic places in the gardens.

Japanese Bridge | Top Pond | Exbury Gardens | New Forest, Hampshire


All of these photos were taken on Wednesday 24th June by Exbury staff members.


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.

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‘What could be better on a trip down to the New Forest than a walk in a beautiful garden, a ride on a steam train (which my grandson adored!) and a chance to see the Beaulieu river close up? A memorable day out and a gem of a place’

Rob Gregory, Oxford

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