The new Centenary Garden, celebrating 100 years of Exbury Gardens

Exbury Centenary Garden rendering

Built by PC Landscapes, the Centenary Garden was created to celebrate 100 years since the banker and plantsman Lionel de Rothschild founded the renowned Exbury Gardens in the New Forest.

Designed by Marie-Louise Agius (Lionel de Rothschild’s great-granddaughter and Chelsea’s Gold Medalist), the garden is contemporary in style, with subtle nods to the family history and focuses on late flowering summer perennials. To quote Marie-Louise’s words: “…a garden within the gardens that was both different from and yet complemented the existing gardens”.

Marie-Louise’s design includes a sunken central area with the Rothschild’s notorious 5 Arrows symbol in black Caledonian slate set into York stone paving. Constructed in place of a former tennis court, a completely new drainage system was designed and installed by PC Landscapes. This was to ensure appropriate drainage of both the sunken and any adjacent area, as well as to avoid any future potential flash floods.

Once the central area was excavated to the required levels, a fixed central datum line was established to create the elliptical shape and ensure the exact measurements for the bespoke stonework and paving. Blockwork faced with bricks to match the old existing buildings were used to create the walls, and our fabricator renovated the new steel climbing frames from one of Exbury’s old glasshouses.

A bespoke oak pergola and three different oak gates were made and lifted into position.

Over a hundred tonnes of topsoil were imported to fill all the new beds and borders. Working with the Exbury head gardener Tom Clarke and his team, we planted the bigger specimens.

Landscaped between 2017 and early 2019, the garden has been carefully hidden from the public to have the chance to grow and mature before the official launch, and to “ensure that the visitors will see the garden looking established and thriving from day one”.

In July 2019, His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales has officially opened The Centenary Garden, and unveiled a commemorative plaque after been introduced to members of the PC Landscapes team, Exbury gardeners and local volunteers. You can read more about the day here and here.

HRH The Prince of Wales at Exbury Centenary Garden official opening

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