A crafted work of art and theater
Nymans was the home of the talented and creative Messel family. Today it is one of England’s most inspiring gardens. Exuberant floral displays, captivating views and stunning plant collections are designed to impress, while its rooms, corners and archways offer intimate and secret places in which to relax.
Anne Messel, the granddaughter of Ludwig Messel who built Nymans, once said,
“An English garden has to be lived in all year round; so to touch the aesthetic sense it must like a house, embrace something deeper than a fine collection or architectural feat. It should also be a home, reflecting the personalities and whims of those that have trod its paths and the aspirations of its makers and improvers; mirroring a glimpse from each generation, that time and growth have moulded into a harmonious whole.”
Within its 33 acres, the garden holds stunning collections of magnolias, berberis, eucryphias, camellias and rhododendrons, together with one of the largest collections of South American plants in the United Kingdom. The sheer range of its ornamental plants—from trees and shrubs to roses, annuals, climbers and rock plants—is also impressive.
But perhaps more than anything else, what makes Nymans so appealing is its aesthetic diversity. Its pleasing mix of formal and informal areas means that visitors can wander from one surprise to the next. Topiary gardens, manicured lawns, exquisite borders and immaculate rock and heather gardens happily co-exist with wilder areas—naturalistic lawns and flower meadows, and exuberant sub-tropical terrace and a recently planted winter garden.
Explore the gardens below.
The Wall Garden
The double herbaceous borders in the Walled Garden in August
Magnolia blossoms in spring
The Messel Fountain in the Rose Garden was designed by Vivien ap Rhys Pryce, and takes the form of a bronze rose
Colorful summer borders in the gardens
The ruins from the Main Lawn in April. The house was destroyed by fire in 1947, and only the north-east end rebuilt
Sunrise in June
The topiary yew hedge
White-flowering hydrangea beside a statue in the Wall Garden
Looking over the fountain to the double herbaceous borders in the Wall Garden in August
Reprinted from the National Trust.