FANS of Exbury Gardens can now take in its delights despite the lockdown.
Although it is currently closed, Exbury is now offering virtual garden tours which show off its wonderful horticultural attractions including the famous rhododendrons collection.
They will be on display along with camellias, magnolias and azaleas in what has become one of the most famous gardens in the UK.
Usually 90,000 people visit during the 200-acre floral sanctuary during peak spring season but it is expected that even more will be able to enjoy Exbury wherever they live.
The virtual tours were the idea of Marie-Louise Agius, the great-granddaughter of Exbury’s founder Lionel de Rothschild. He established the gardens, near Southampton, in 1919 importing many rare species from all over the world. Prince Charles attended its centenary celebrations last year
It now features thousands of rhododendrons and azaleas along with the newly created centenary garden and the ‘River of Gold’ which features 150,000 yellow spring bulbs.
Some of the plants are more than 100 years old, and some are descended from species brought back from remote areas of the Himalayas and South East Asia.
A landscape designer by trade but also a keen photographer and drone flyer, Ms Agius will be regularly posting videos and pictures including stunning aerial shots.
She said: “As I am based down at Exbury during the current isolation situation, I thought it would be a great idea to bring the gardens to everyone virtually, personally.
“They are literally bursting at the moment, really hitting their stride. I know it’s not the same as visiting them, but hopefully this way thousands of people can still enjoy their beauty and wonder. If these beautiful gardens can bring some cheer in these strange and unsettling times, then that is fantastic.”
To enjoy Exbury from your own home visit @ExburyGardens on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.