The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

A walk around Nymans Gardens, this may take a while . . . . .


One of the first gardens bequeathed into the care of The National Trust in 1953 was Nymans Gardens , set in the High Weald in Sussex. In 1890 Ludwig Messel bought the 600 acre estate, and Regency house, and it remained in the Messel family for 3 generations over a period of 100 years.
Described as both a horticulturist’s dream and a peaceful country garden, it has ancient woods beyond the garden, which dip into the valley with walks among avenues, wild flowers, lake and cascades.
The house, transformed into a Gothic mansion in the 1920s burnt down in 1947, leaving romantic ruins. The remaining rooms are charming, filled with flowers from the garden, as Anne Messel, Countess of Rosse, had them.
It’s remarkable that since Nymans Gardens was created in 1890, it has seen only 3 Head Gardeners, James 1895-1953, Cecil succeeded him and currently, David, who took over when Cecil retired in 1980.
The Countess of Rosse died in 1992.

The Messel temple has wonderful views over the Sussex countryside

The Rose garden and Rose arches are a sight for sore eyes, not to mention the wonderful perfume from them

Stepping through the archways into the wall garden you find the famous Summer borders with over 3,500 plants making up the 80m display which lasts through to October. Personally, I found it all a bit ‘Corporation Bedding’ with blocks of colour, all rather out of keeping with the rest of the very natural garden, still, that’s just my opinion !

This fountain was fabulous though

As was the Lion Arch, look at those men, like a pair of book-ends !

Now we find clipped Yew, shaped Hollies and trees, trees, trees, I love trees !

It was around this point that my camera decided to play up, no idea why, photo of the tallest tree in Sussex, a giant Redwood, has gone forever, trust me, the tree was soooooo tall ! Here are some amazing trees and /or tree trunks. The first is a Cornus Kousa, beautiful tree.

Wisteria fans, eat your heart out at this specimen !

Now, at this point, you may like to take a break, make a cuppa, have a snack or just stretch your legs as this Blog continues to the house ! . . . . . .
Ok, hope you’re refreshed for this part !

Visitors enter through the main central door and exit through the smaller door on the left, this is where the N.T. lady was selling raffle tickets, they’ve got it planned well !

Here is the lovely Dovecot

Now some beautifully crafted doors, shame the Honeysuckle had fallen as everyone had to stoop through the door !

Nobody would reveal how this got its name !

Now, thankfully, you’re probably thinking, my camera finally expired, which means I’ll have to return to photo the gorgeous perennial borders, the croquet lawn, the Pinetum etc.etc. !

I hope you enjoyed viewing as much as I enjoyed visiting Nymans Gardens.

More blog posts by shirley_tulip

Previous post: The closure of Leonardslee Gardens

Next post: C'mon let's crawl to the Ugly Bug Ball . . .



What a fabulous place,thank you for the tour :) I love the honeysuckle over the door. And wow a clipped yew shaped like a toblerone :))

4 Jul, 2010


Fantastic Blog Shirley, really enjoyed it, thank you. Think I shall have to make a note to visit at some point.

4 Jul, 2010


thanx for the tour shirley, what a wonderfull place to visit, beautifull gardens with a lovely house and dovecot, great pics ;o))

4 Jul, 2010


Aster, I knew that clipped Yew reminded me of something ! Mmmm, a bar of Toblerone, if only I had one now .... lol
Cinderella, the N.T. have some beautiful places in Sussex, we're slowly touring round them !
Hi Sandra, I loved that Dovecote too, people were lining up to photo it !

4 Jul, 2010


lovely thanks for sharing your day

4 Jul, 2010


I went there several years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :) Thank you for sharing....

4 Jul, 2010


Lovely place and lovely photo's. I was there about two years ago and it absolutely poured. Nice to see it in the sun.

Inside was very interesting too (which I had to do because of the weather) and I liked the information about the old television given by one of the stewards.

5 Jul, 2010


What a wonderful place. I'm not surprised you had a great time there. I especially enjoyed seeing the buildings (sorry to all plant fanatics but I did so there you are). I would have loved to be there with my sketch pad lol.
No your blog wasn't too long. It was very interesting, and I didn't want to have a break for a cuppa lol. I just enjoyed reading on. :o))

5 Jul, 2010


Fractal - it'sso funny how the TV set was draped with theatre style curtains as Oliver Messel thought the set was so ugly ! The rooms were very dark and dreary, the only colour came from the flowers.
Hywel - Those buildings are fabulous, especially the dovecote, doubt if it could be constructed as well these days. : o ((((

5 Jul, 2010


Thanks for the blog Shirley- lovely photos. It must be about twenty years since I visited there - it was a couple of years after the big storm of 1987 which wiped out the arboretum completely

5 Jul, 2010


Thanks Andrew, as I said earlier, if my camera hadn't expired I would have taken photos of the Pinetum and the fabulous Perennial Borders. It was good to see plants clearly labelled for a change. We'll probably return in the early Autumn to see how different it looks in that season. How's Maureen liking being in your garden ? LOL ! !

5 Jul, 2010


She seems to like it - just worried she may start eating the shrubs when they get bigger :-)

6 Jul, 2010


: o )))))))

6 Jul, 2010


Enjoyed my trip round Nymens...lovely pics.

8 Jul, 2010


Really enjoyed this trip.....we really should make the effort!! great blog....(◍•ᴗ•◍)❤

30 Sep, 2019

Add a comment

Recent posts by shirley_tulip

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    30 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    30 Dec, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008