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The Eighth Wonder of the World

Exbury Gardens and the Rothschilds

The history of Hampshire’s renowned Exbury Gardens and the extraordinary achievement of Lionel de Rothschild in creating them.

This book celebrates Lionel de Rothschild (1882–1942) and his vision in creating Exbury Gardens, a two-hundred-acre woodland garden in Hampshire, and all those who have worked to realize its beauty. Ten chapters tell the story of the prominent Rothschild family and their horticulture project at Exbury, detailing Lionel’s life, the intrepid plant hunters he sponsored, and the influence the plants had on gardens in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Richly illustrated with more than two hundred images, many published for the first time, The Eighth Wonder of the World chronicles the life of Exbury itself from before the arrival of the Rothschilds, into the war years, and beyond. The book places Exbury at the center of the development of private and public gardens—above all for rhododendrons—in the British Isles during the interwar years. In a stunning exploration of the woodland gardens, the book showcases the fascinating collections of rare plants, shrubs, and trees that remain on show today, as well as the famed rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, and camellias.

200 pages | 200 color plates | 8 3/4 x 10 3/4

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