A trip to Furzey Gardens at any time of the year is special to many people, but the month of May is truly a beautiful sight as our rhododendrons and azaleas hit their peak season.
There are many different species and varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas at Furzey Gardens, ranging from large rhododendron trees and towering bushes to younger specimens just establishing themselves. Large rhododendron trees drape themselves over paths, providing a picturesque arch for visitors to walk through, whilst tall banks of blooms provide sheltered paths to walk through on windier days.
Around the gardens plants to look out for are our Japanese evergreen azaleas which provide a patchwork blend of pinks, purples and reds and the honeysuckle azalea or Rhododendron luteum with its beautiful yellow blooms and delicious scent. Elsewhere, one of our head gardener’s favourite sights this month is the rhododendron sappho with its large white flowers with deep purple blotches in the middle.
The varieties seem endless with big bold blooms and smaller more delicate flowers, we are sure that you will be dazzled by their displays and marvel at the intertwining branches below.
In addition to our rhododendron and azalea collection, now is the time to enjoy a lovely selection of trees and shrubs including the last of our magnolia sieboldii and crinodendron hookerianum with its vibrant red blossom hanging like crimson paper lanterns. Also look out for an unusual tree that is particularly eye-catching at the moment: the davidia involucrata. It was introduced in Europe from central China over 120 years ago by a famous plant collector, Ernest Wilson. This is a tree that goes by many names – the dove tree, the handkerchief and the ghost tree to name a few – due to its delicate white flowers that flutter like wings in the wind.
May also signals the start of our primula scattered around the borders, in particular look for primula pulverulenta with its stems of deep pink flowers grouped at intervals along the stem and our Bartley pink primula named after the nearby village.
It is a truly special time to visit Furzey.
It’s the perfect time to take a moment to relax and get away from the stresses of the world in the depths of the New Forest. Our gardens and tea rooms are open seven days a week (with social distancing measures in place). Visitor numbers are still capped and we expect tickets to sell out, so book early to avoid disappointment
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