Nymans Garden in Sussex surrounds a partially ruined house. This creates a romantic backdrop for some inspirational – and romantic – planting.
There’s plenty of topiary throughout the gardens; from the formal geometric topiary near the house, to softer forms that nudge up against the bamboo grove.
Topiary uses evergreen trees and shrubs, other evergreens, in this instance conifers, are also a highlight of Nymans garden. The pinetum at Nymans was created by Ludwig Messel and contains hundreds of trees, including some rare specimans. Both the pinetum and the woods are a delight during the winter months when the herbaceous borders are sleeping.
The Messels family were great plant lovers and gardeners and their enthusiam still shows today in a garden full of garden rooms showing different aspects of their botanical interests that are yet enticing to the non-horticulturalist wit their range of colours and textures.
The walled garden adjacent to the house has long borders of lavender and a dovecote. No sign of any doves, but there were plenty of bees on the lavender bushes and white roses that scrambled over the walls.
A sunny June day and an open gateway laden with climbing hydrangea (which is excellent for a shady wall) tempts you to wander through to discover what lies beyond…
Not all the planting at Nymans is created with subtle tones of white and cream; the double herbaceous borders were full of colour,
including a patriotic mix zinging with red petunias.
But back to traditional schemes with a newly planted parterre of box hedging, that was brought up to date by being interplanted with a range of plants offering a different view throughout the year. At Nymans, the dying tulip foliage is left for the tulip bulbs to recharge for a good display in the next spring.
The regimental topiary hedge of yew (Taxus baccata) offers views through to more of the gardens and almost seems to be a row of soldiers guarding the house behind.
Roses are found all over Nymans garden, but they also have their specially designated space with in more hedging. We’ll meander through, enjoying the scent, as we wrote about this in a rose garden blog last year.
There are many perfumed delights at Nymans; Magnolia sieboldii is one of them, with waxy blooms giving out a delicious scent.
The scented honeysuckle (Lonicera) scrambling through the ruined window arch in the burnt section of the house is a reminder of how much has been done at Nymans garden to create a living garden from a burnt out shell. The setting is romantic, which is why so many brides chose it for their wedding, but there is also the element of practicality, and of experimentation,with traditional and modern plants and planting schemes both having a place at Nymans.