yard wood

Yard Wood was the last part of the garden to be developed. It derives its name from the many yew trees growing here. The wood of the yew was used for yardsticks which formed the bows of the archers in medieval times, and folklore has it that one of these Exbury trees was mentioned in the Domesday book.



On the left is Hydrangea Walk, the inspiration of Leopold de Rothschild. By mid-summer the Herbaceous Gardens come into their own, with a focus on cooler blue and mauves from the Teller hybrid hydrangeas.

This leads to the Boardwalk, recently planted with tree ferns, bamboo, gunnera and wollemi pine.

the boardwalk

The Boardwalk

Azalea Drive. The main drive continues through the garden passing the dark crimson Rhododendron ‘Bibiani’ and some new plantings of Rhododendron ‘Loderi’ to an impressive sweep of deciduous azaleas.

Interplanted with maples and backed by pines this provides a colourful spectacle in the spring when the azaleas are in full flower, and again in the autumn when the maples predominate. Flowering cherries and the white purple-flushed Magnolia x soulangeana ‘Brozzonii’ frame a view of Jubilee Pond named to celebrate King George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935.

the american garden

The American Garden

In the American Garden there is a comprehensive collection of rhododendrons from the USA, which were planted here after the severe storms in the late 1980s. Further on, a group of eucryphia will provide spectacular colour in the later summer. Here one can get glimpses of the railway which was completed in 2001. This has opened up a new area which includes a splendid timber viaduct.

‘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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