Nymans – Horticultural Pedigree










DSCF9378One of my favourite gardens here – Nymans, in Handcross, a few miles south of Gatwick and featuring gothic ruins, expansive views, woodland, formal gardens, a grove of Davidia involucrata (the Handkerchief Tree), a 100′ pergola walkway smothered in Wisteria, the first Heather Garden in the UK, tropical planting, double herbaceous borders, superb salvias, a rose garden, arboretum, bamboo trail, long cool green avenues, a winter garden, stonework and statuary – and real horticultural history as well as a little architectural tragedy…..

The horticultural pedigree of the house’s former owners, the Messel Family – Ludwig Messel, Leonard Messel, Oliver Messel and Maud Messel, and their champion head gardeners combine to make this a very special place of pilgrimage. I’m thinking I’ve written more about the house in previous bloggings – I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time around. Always, always a treat to visit here, as I hope you will agree.

From the National Trust website entry for Nymans –


Outstanding 20th-century garden, set around a romantic house and ruins, in beautiful woodland

In the late 1800s Ludwig Messel bought the Nymans Estate in the Sussex High Weald to make a dream family home. Inspired by the wooded surroundings he created a garden with plants collected from around the world. Here this creative family entertained friends and family, enjoyed relaxing, playing and picnicking in the garden and woods. Today it is still a garden lovers’ home – a place to relax all year round and enjoy a peaceful country garden.

The house was partially destroyed by fire in 1947 and the romantic ruins of a fairytale gothic mansion remain. We are one of the National Trust’s most eco- friendly properties and we aim to inspire a more sustainable way of living.

Inspired by the garden lovers’ home there is a large shop and plant centre with our special collection of plants grown on site as well as a redesigned café offering a choice of seasonal food made by us, a Grab & Go kiosk in the tea garden and woodland craft sales.

Every day there are guided walks and talks in the garden and woods, a small gallery in the house with changing exhibitions for every season, a secondhand bookshop, shop tastings and mobility tours of the garden and woods. For children there are natural play trails, geocaching in the garden and woods, pick up and go activities and school holiday trails.

The garden featured as one of the quarted of BBC programmes Gardens in Time


See also:


and the Nymans Garden Blog


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