Sunday, 26 August 2012

Nymans

An afternoon of artful promenading was in order this weekend in one of the most exquisite gardens in the south of England. Overlooking the picturesque High Weald in Sussex, the 600 acres of garden at Nymans converge on the ruined ghost of a gothic stone manor house which burned down in the 1940s.
Click Images To Enlarge
 
Home to three generations of the Messel family most notably for me, it was the childhood home of the extraordinary theatrical set, costume and interior designer Oliver Messel.
 
 

Many exotic looking plants flourish here, reflecting the original temperate plant collections grown at Nymans. The Romneya coulteri (Bottom left) took ages to photograph, her papery thin petals modestly shrouding her stamen from my lens with every gust of wind. 
 
The south east facing wall bestowed some very exciting plants growing together. A horticuluralist's exotic feast of Amica zygomeris with gorgeous oar shaped foliage, the whip like spires of Salvia confertifolia, the Mexican sunflower Tithonia rotunifolia and the vicious beauty with dayglo orange teeth, Solanum pyracanthum, ouch!
 
 
Another favourite that we also grow was discovered waving it's large palmate leaves amongst the romantic ruins, Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex' or T-Rex as it is fondly known.

 
One of the highlights of a visit to Nymans is to walk the spectacular long summer borders overflowing with an enormous array of dazzling flora punctuated by some rather opulent yew topiary.
 
 
 
 
 
Now, if only I could extend our garden a few hundred feet......
 

32 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pictures. Thanks for the tour. Another place I want to visit!

    Holly

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  2. Just amazing you wild young thing!

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  3. Another fabulous garden.
    I love the Yew topiary and that old gate.
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Lizx

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  4. Fabulous Paul - I must get there sometime. Love the Romneya coulteri, I always admire them but have never seen them for sale. The great orb shaped yews are simply magnificent, and so are your photos. Bet there was no Himalayan Balsam to be seen in their borders!!!

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  5. Beautiful...I think the same thing:) If only I could extend our gardens just a little more:) I'm running out of space:)

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  6. Hello Paul

    What a treat to travel with you through this spectacular garden. Thank you for being patient and getting that wonderful shot of the romneya coulteri.
    Have a glorious week
    Helen xx

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  7. Oh, Paul, I'm imagining how truly lovely this manor home must have been. Tragic, that fire. The gardens are amazing so someone is still tending to everything. Happy for that. How has your summer been? It's HOT in Texas, but we can see the first signs of Fall, the temp is now down to 94...:)'s

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  8. These gardens are unbelievable . . . I expect to see Alice chasing her white rabbit. Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

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  9. Hi Paul, it is so nice to know about Oliver Messel's childhood family home. I have read about his Interior Design work from previous articles in Architectural Digest Magazine. Particularly the Fustic House in St. Lucia and Princess Margaret's former home in Mustique, Les Jolies Eaux. Oliver Messel was just so talented!

    I admire your expertise in flowers and plants. I am learning a lot. Although it is hopeless for me to memorize those flower names. You photograph these flowers like they are individuals. Thank you for sharing these historical and beautiful Estates and gardens of England.

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  10. Hi Paul, I just love how these gardens extend into such magical rooms! I love the effect of entering each new space to find something different beyond a wooden door, archway or gate. I would LOVE to replicate that feeling of anticipation in my own garden, but yes - where does one find that extra 100 feet of garden to play with - on e-bay perhaps?!
    Best wishes,
    Paula xxx

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  11. Fantastic gardens. I could certainly spend a few hours wandering around here with my camera. You've got some very nice photos - but I guess that's easy in such a photogenic atmosphere. :)

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  12. Have I ever told you how much I like your profile pictures AND your blog?

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  13. Have visited the gardens and house and it is beautiful and so are all your photographs!! Jackie in Surrey

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  14. What a beautiful place to visit!

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  15. It's not a part of the country I have visited before .. but it's now on my must do list.
    Many thanks for sharing.

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  16. Hi Paul,

    Your visit to Nymans brings back lots of memories. We visited a few years ago and enjoyed it very much too. The ruins of the house add to the atmosphere. What an amazing border!

    Have a good week.

    Madelief

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  17. Dear Paul,

    You have done it again!

    Not only have you posted beautiful photos -again, chiseled enchanting "lyrics" with your pen - again, made me impressed and embarrassed in equal amount with your extraordinary knowledge of plant names (juxtaposed with my own extraordinary lack thereof...)- again, you have yet again made my pulse padam-padam-padam that little bit faster, made me almost frantically attack Google with a new name of yet an intriguing garden on the "want-to-visit-NOW" list. A list which, if you carry on like this, will soon be rather overwhelming!

    But thank you, it was delightful to stroll down the overflowing flower borders with you, gasp at the amazing yew shapes and let myself get carried away into fairy tale land among the ruins!

    And as for taking home Charlotte's old wooden wall (which is part of a very old building - former garage, now home office), I am afraid I have got only three words for you: Get In Line! :-D

    Wishing you a lovely start to the week!
    Helena

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  18. 600 acres of well-kept garden, that's extraordinary, and nice photos of it. We've got 2.5 acres (mostly wild grass) and I can't keep that in good shape!

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  19. Wow those boxwoods have some major sharp corners! I can imagine that is not an easy task!

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  20. Oh, what a great eye you have for both detail and the grand view. Did you use the trick of looking over your shoulder to find the best view? I've been lucky enough to visit some of the great public and private gardens in the U.K. but never this one--too bad. The horticulturist who led our garden tour taught me the little trick of "looking back."

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  21. Great photos Paul and all of such beauty. Those yew topiaries are amazing, and the borders, oh my, fabulous flowers.

    Thanks for the perfect late Summer garden walk - wish mine looked that good! Have you ever visited Dartington Hall and gardens in Devon? Another beautiful place - England's gardens can't be surpassed can they?

    My upcoming trip may not include true gardens but hopefully I'll see some different flora growing from those red rocks and waterfalls!

    Happy week - Mary

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  22. WOW!! What an amazing place. Everything is manicured to perfection. As always, your photos are phenomenal...such a treat! =) ~Liz

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  23. This is a beautiful tour. I love the gargoyles and the garden gates! So nice to go places with you, and see something different that what I normally see. Thanks, Paul.
    Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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  24. Beautiful! So many flowers and colors and amazing details!

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  25. I find out in Dec if we're moving to London next spring. If we do, I want you to be my new bff and personal tour guide. You explore the most beautiful places!! I want to come along :)

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  26. Gorgeous pathways and flowers, and this must have been an enchanting visit, just beautiful!

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  27. I loved this garden right from the iron gate at the entrance. You saved the best for last. Those long flower borders flanking the central pathway are absolutely stunning. The large urn in the distance is framed beautifully and makes a wonderful focal point.

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  28. Paul, Loved this. It seems there is no end of lovely homes and unbelievable gardens in the U.K. I particularly love the lined path. This is my dream garden!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Kim

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  29. gorgeous garden Paul!! we just need more of that in Canada!

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  30. Hi Paul, Thank you so much for this introduction. I was considering a visit to Nymans last June when I was visiting my cousin in the country but, in the end, did not have time to do both that and Sissinghurst. Now I know it is well worth my while and won't miss it next year! Have a lovely weekend! Phyllis

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  31. Paul, these gardens are stunning. Beautiful photos! Pamela

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