22nd October: Exbury Gardens

One of the best things I’ve done this year was to buy a season ticket for Exbury Gardens. I have been there numerous times, usually on my way to watchkeeping at NCI Stone Point. The gardens are so beautiful and large enough that often it seems that one has them to oneself. Sadly, they close for the winter after the clocks change next weekend, so I went there on Sunday, 22nd October, conscious that, depending on next week’s weather, I might not get another chance.

I’ve never noticed this yew arch by the old tennis courts before!

It’s a pity that the gardens are not open a little later into the autumn since, with the exception of some of the acers,  the leaves are only starting to change colour. Still there were some autumn tints highlighted by the sunshine between the shower clouds.  On this, possibly last, visit I walked down through the daffodil meadow, which had been recently mown for hay, and then along the river walks.  I viewed the nerine display in the Five Arrows gallery, had a scone and tea from Mr Eddy’s restaurant, and then wandered back to the rock garden. While  I realised that the steam trains were now “ghost trains” in the run up to Halloween, I had not anticipated the transformation of the rock garden!  My visit was then curtailed by having to shelter from a localised my quite intense shower (see last photo).  By the time it ended I needed to go over to Lepe ready for my watch.

Here is a collection of photos from some recent visits to the gardens, as well as some of those I took on Sunday.