A Snapshot Of Furzey Gardens
Furzey Gardens describes itself as ‘a haven of peace and tranquillity’ and that’s just about right because I think on the wettest bank holiday I can remember we were just about the only group of people visiting. It had been planned some weeks ago and being very much of the ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’ school of thought I wasn’t going to be thrown off by a ‘bit’ of rain. Especially because this has been on my visiting wish list ever since it won a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012 with it’s very first entry. When looking for a garden somewhere in The New Forest to meet my chum Annie and her children I put a call out on twitter, with one or two exceptions Furzey was the response, so it was game on.
Planted in 1922, it’s an informal space, with a myriad of pathways meandering away from the original sixteenth century cottage and kitchen garden down to a lake full of lillies and through the woodland. As might be expected in such a setting the planting is mainly trees and shrubs that have been chosen to provide colour and interest throughout the year. Azaleas and Rhododendrons in spring, bluebells, cyclamen and narcissus, through to autumn where the beautiful, warm fire shades of red and orange from the foliage take over. Dotted around the gardens are shelters, child appealing tree houses and a bug barn all with ‘Furzey thatching’. If you look carefully there are even fairy doors to be found. The Chelsea garden is also recreated here. It’s all rather magical.
Whilst being a beautiful space what also makes this garden really special is that it is run by the Furzey Gardens Charitable Trust part of the larger Minstead Training Trust. The trust provides residential care and horticultural training to adults with learning disabilities and its students work within the gardens and nursery gaining horticultural experience and craft skills. These crafts are sold in the gift shop and plants that they will have raised can be bought from the nursery.
A little bit of enchantment set right in the heart of the New Forest
Minstead is just outside of Lyndhurst. The location map can be found here.
Opening Times and Prices
Gardens open daily from 10am to 6pm all year round.
The Gallery Gift and Coffee Shop is open from 1st March to the end of October. Daily from 10am to 5pm. Last orders for refreshments are 4.15pm.
Prices and Donations
Entrance to the nursery, gift and coffee shop is free.
Entrance to the Gardens is by set minimum donation of :
Children (ages 4-16) £4.00
Children under 4 are free
Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) £19.50
Disabled visitor and helper free
Annual “Furzey Friends” Membership £49.50 (member and up to 3 guests).
All other information can be found here.
If you’d like to read more about the work of the Minstead Training Trust you can do so here