Exbury Gardens is a visitor attraction set in the New Forest of Hampshire UK. The grounds run down to the Beaulieu River. Wild ponies wander the roads as you approach. The Isle of Wight and the Solent are visible as you wander along the river path. I had the fortune to go there las tweek. It's a job to write about the place without sounding like an OTT tourist brochure. It is just SO beautiful that really you just have to see the photos. The beauty has a quality of unreality which I suppose is to be expected in a created garden. I wish I knew more about plants. Certainly there are azaleas and rhododendrons. I also spotted some king cups which have always been a favourite with me. They seem to cry out the joy of the sun and lush meadow land with their open faces. I had not seen any for years and suddenly I spotted them. My mind raced back decades to a John Clare poem.
During May and June, if you get the chance give yourself a real overdose of beauty and get down to Exbury. Be sure to take your camera. My final shot is a close up of a Rhododendron. To me it represents an abstraction beyond reality. Maybe this is the way we are supposed to see things - as if everything is something more than itself. I guess this is what great gardeners seek to achieve - a transcendence beyond the truth of itself - a fiction of beauty - like a once dreamed kiss that suddenly is on your living lips.
PS. Keep an eye out for Her Majesty. Seemingly she's a fan