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Victorian Gardens

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These areas were first landscaped by the Victorians, following construction of the new house. In front of the house terrace, the built-up ground slopes steeply to the stream, and is a mass of different rhododendrons. In fact this is the second generation. The original plantings were devastated by heavy snow in early 1963, and almost the whole bank was cleared to start afresh. A lorry load of more varied Exbury hybrids was then planted, and these have in turn grown to form a high canopy.

To the south lie the upper lawns, allowing a view across the gardens and away to the woods beyond. Various Victorian trees have grown and gone from here, including a vast monkey puzzle that blew down in January 1990. It is too exposed here for really large trees to survive long. But at the bottom of this area is the stunning handkerchief tree, that is festooned with its fluttering white bracts in early June.

Above the drive is the tennis court shrubbery. War came before the tennis court could be finished in the late 1930s, and it was later turned into lawn. This area now has a good range of camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas, and is dominated over them by two magnificent copper beeches.
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