Balston Agius were delighted to be invited to the official opening of the new Centenary Garden by the Prince of Wales on Wednesday 10th July 2019.
During the visit, His Royal Highness was given a tour by Marie-Louise Agius and met members of the Rothschild family, the Balston Agius design team, the construction team, the gardening team, estate staff and volunteers, before unveiling a commemorative plaque. The opening marked 100 years since the now world-famous New Forest landmark was founded and was also attended by HM Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson, High Sheriff of Hampshire Sarah Le May, New Forest District Council Chairman Councillor Allan Glass and Hampshire County Council Chairman Councillor Charles Choudhary.
The Centenary Garden was planted two years ago in an old tennis court, almost at the centre of Exbury Gardens, and was carefully hidden from public view whilst it grew and matured. The garden is a contemporary, intimate space, focusing on late flowering summer perennials, interwoven between a strong vertical planted structure, with the existing yew hedging proving an evergreen backdrop. The central area is sunken, enhancing the three dimensional space, with the Rothschild 5 Arrows coat of arms in black Caledonian slate set into York stone paving. At the far end of the garden is a curved timber bench surrounded by cloud-pruned evergreen azaleas, a modern salute to the core history of the Gardens. Just over 2,000 plants have been used. Key structural plants include Gingko – running through the main planting beds; Heptacodium micanoides – the pair of multi-stemmed trees in the far end bed; Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ – en masse at the far end around the Heptacodium; Rhus typhina ‘Tiger eyes’ – contrasting with the existing Yew in the north-west corner, and Miscanthus ‘Graziella’ – running in swathes between the Gingkos.
For more details on the Centenary Garden design click here
For more details on the official opening click here