Yesterday visited the National Trust garden at Nymans, near Handcross, West Sussex. I was last there in November when there was a lot of exciting renovation work going on (see link below).
Nymans was busy, no wonder, it really is a lovely and interesting garden – the tree surgeons, the gardeners and even the birds were busy going about their business.
I arrived at lunchtime, so stopped to eat first. Homemade Watercress and Potato soup was on the menu and wished that rather than chosing a small bowl, I had opted for the large one, it was delicious, as is all the food at Nymans restaurant.
Armed with my map, I made my way down towards the house, through the lovely Acers which are just as red as they were in November, the Pinetum and the entrance to the Woodland Walk. If you have the time, take the walk through these ancient woods, you will be pleasantly surprised.
In the 1920’s the Gothic styled house burned down, the shell remains giving an eerie backdrop for many an event. The Wisteria is out and the heady perfume was wafting around in the sunshine. Yes, the sun did shine yesterday!
Life is beginning in the Walled Garden and it looked very different to the bare garden in November. This time of the year you can see the structure of supports and in the height of the Summer the display of annuals is breath taking. If you look at the soil carefully, you will see the green manure used at Nymans.
There was a Robin darting around but it was camera shy, however the Blackbird, stretching its wings in the sun, was not at all perturbed at being photographed.
As I headed towards the Top Garden, I turned into the Rose Garden (bottom right of the photo below). There was only one rose out, most were still in bud and it will be absolutely beautiful when they are all in bloom. A few years ago when I saw it in the Summer, the roses were under planted with Nepeta, it looked wonderful.
By now you will realise that Nymans is full of plants that you could easily grow in your own home, I find it a great source of ideas. This is especially so in the Top Garden, which has Fuchsias on either side of the entrance. At the moment is full of Aquilegias, fabulous Tree Peonies, Hardy Geraniums and Geums. The gorgeous dark Tree Peony is Paoenia Delavayi.
The greenhouses and nursery are here and, as with everything at Nymans, information is everywhere.
I particularly wanted to see the renovated Rock Garden, which was being dug out in November and is part of the Rediscovery Project. Two of the female gardeners were busy preparing one of the beds and they told me that they had plants ready to put into place and mountains of bark to place around them. Some of the beds were already planted up so it was easy to see what it will look like. The Rock Garden is looking really good with its restored paths and rocks.
Just beyond the Rock Garden is the Wisteria pergola, which was not advanced as the Wisteria at the house. When it is in full flower it really is spectacular.
Nymans is constantly evolving and on your visit you will discover beds being replanted with plants as seen in 1930’s photos and new areas being designed, as well as the evolution of the Rock Garden and, of course, the Walled Garden in glorious technicolor.
You can probably tell that I am a big fan of Nymans, and I am lucky that it is almost on my doorstep too.
A camera and comfortable shoes are a must, and I would recommend that you give yourself a whole day, if possible, because there is a lot to see. Also don’t forget to visit to the Restaurant and the packed Plant Sale area.
- Things are Changing at Nymans Garden (Hurtled to 60) November 2011
- National Trust Gardens – Nymans (Opening information)
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