Lionel de Rothschild’s gardeners used dynamite to blow holes in the ground so that they could plant trees in Exbury Garden. I learned this useful tip when visiting the garden, reknowned for its collection of trees, spring blossoms and autumn colour. On the last day of September the leaves were just starting to change and the National Collection of Nyssa, planted in a glade near the Jubilee Ponds and still in its infancy, is extending the range of interest beyond the predictable, albeit beautiful, Acers.
Nyssa, as well as being a Dr Who companion in the early 80s (I don’t actually remember this, Google brought up the information when I was looking up the genus) is a tree of North American origin, commonly known as Tupelo.
There is another NC at Exbury, Oxydendrum, also known for its autumn colour, but despite some guidance from the lady on the gate, I couldn’t find the trees, but believe that they are part of the seasonal tree trail, most of which is very well signed.
The garden is a very pleasant place to wander, with interest throughout the year. Through the Camellia Walk, Azalea Bowl, Maple Walk and Winter Garden it extends down to the Beaulieu River where there is a monument to those lost in Landing Ships and Craft in WW2. Exbury House was requisitioned and played an important part in provisioning the D Day landings.
A few more chilly nights and sunny days and this beautiful garden will explode into a fiery display which will be well worth seeing. And if you are planning to come to the PH Members’ Weekend (AGM) next Spring you will be able to join the guided tour of the garden on the Sunday.