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Visiting Nymans

September 14, 2011

I went to visit Ed Ikin, friend and Head Gardener at Nymans, yesterday. We originally met through mutual friends (Ed used to work at Chelsea Physic before I was there). The last time I went was to interview him on a freezing cold and wet January morning. Yesterday was considerably more pleasant and it was nice to see the garden with a bit more colour to it. As always there’s a lot going on. Ed constantly has projects on the go and the place is ever evolving. Although Nymans is a National Trust place the garden has a surprising degree of freedom to make its own decisions and forge its own way. This has seen Ed supervising the installation of an impressive rain and ground water collection and irrigation system, a complete overhaul of the rock garden and other projects as part of a ‘rediscovery’ programme. Added to this, the garden has a healthy and well managed volunteering and trainee programme. Historic and Botanic Gardens Bursary Scheme (HBGBS – or commonly known as the ‘Hebejebes’) trainees are given meaty projects to get stuck into and evidence of their work can be prominently seen around the garden.

Typically Nymans is busiest in spring when visitors go to see the rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias but this year has seen a good, steady number of visitors throughout the summer too. Ed thinks this might have something to do with people staying at home and holidaying in their local area. There is definitely a lot to see and enjoy year round in the garden including ancient woods down in the valley, views stretching out over the High Weald, a walled garden and the romantic ruins of the house. Here are a few shots from my visit.

Romantic ruins of the Messel mansion at Nymans which was damaged by fire in the early half of the 20th century

Newly planted sub-tropical beds - a project of one of the HBGBS trainees who drew up the planting plan and sourced all the plants

The warm, sheltered site suits the sub-tropical planting. Next will be to decide what and how to protect over the winter.

Bright and bold long herbaceous borders create quite an impact as you step through the arch and into the Wall Garden

I love this Miscanthus 'Morning Light' running along the darker hedge. The clumps appear to stay discreet and tidy too. The plants pictured here have been in for 3 years.

A sweet and hugely successful second hand bookshop is located in what used to be a potting shed. Books are donated and the shop is run by volunteers.

Beautiful haze of purple scabious runs through a large grass meadow

Lettuce 'Nymans' features in some bedding

Eye-catching floral displays were being assembled as part of a large NAFAS festival taking place in the garden this week

Nymans is in West Sussex and is a National Trust property. The gardens are open 7 days a week.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2011 1:42 pm

    What a lovely garden beautifully photographed. Thank you. Lots of inspiring ideas.

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