Wednesday 4 March 2015


If you were at Chelsea couple of years go you might recall and entry from Furzey Gardens. Some of the competitors spend hundreds of thousands of pounds producing a garden for the show. With the help of Chris Beardshaw, the Furzey Gardeners created a magical space for a tiny expense - and brought home a Gold Medal! They also brought their exhibit home, and here it is.

Chelsea prize winner installed back at Furzey
The gardens are in the New Forest, a dozen miles or so from our home; you might have to persuade some of the locals to let you in:

Pony on Sentry Duty

It is well worth the effort. The gardens are run by a charitable trust, and many of the people you see working there will be students with learning difficulties. Everyone there, students,  tutors and volunteers you will find are very welcoming. In past years we have had an annual ticket to another local garden. This year we decided it was a much better idea to enjoy the gardens at Furzey and at the same time support this hugely important venture with an annual membership.

There is a lot of water at Furzey

We have been several times in past years, and each time we visit there seems to be new initiative. At present many paths are being reinstated, some with board-walks and handrails.The work involved is immense, and everyone gets stuck in (quite literally stuck, sometimes!)
There used to be relations of Lamas [or Llamas] in a paddock (not sure if they are Guanacos?- anyway, some sort of S American Camelid). Now they are not isolated, and today they had company - sheep, donkeys, and a couple of chaps labouring over a bonfire.

Enjoying Spring sunshine

If you get down to the New Forest at any time, it is worth making a detour - you will find the turning to Furzey on the right of the road south from M 27 Junction 1, heading towards Lyndhust. The village is Minstead, and there are places to eat and a church - but tea in  the gardens is warmly recommended. You will not regret the diversion.

I am not sure if the house in the middle of the gardens still functions as a Retreat House: but clearly this is where the inspiration for Furzey originates. 

This is what you will be supporting through your visit - a beautiful and inspirational place, doing wonderful work with some lovely people. There is not room for more pictures, so if you want them look at my Facebook page, or go to the Furzey Gardens Website


  1. I am reminded that the usual English (Spanish?) spelling is Llama: but naturally I prefer the Latin: Scientific name: Lama guanicoe

  2. Clare Lees suggests the Camelids might be Alpacas; she may well be right. Anyone know how to distinguish a Guanaco from an Alpaca? [no Alpaca need reply].