The garden was developed by three generations of the Messel family, after Ludvig Messel bought the 600 acre Nymans estate in the late 19th century. Together with his head gardener, James Comber, he developed the garden, including building up collections of three of my (possibly) least favourite genera – camellias, rhododendrons and ericas. However they also collected numerous magnolias, which were looking stunning during my visit. This one in particular, Magnolia ‘Charles Raffill’, a cross between M. Campbellii and M. Mollicomata, was absolutely magnificent.
And I’ve never seen such enormous Magnolia stellata.
As well as the wonderful magnolias, there were thousands of beautiful bulbs. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Narcissus together with Cornus (I assume ‘Midwinter Fire’) but I think this was really striking.
Another favourite bulb of mine is Fritillaria meleagris – just look at these beauties.
Whilst there was evidence of winter in the still blooming Hellebores,
there were also many signs of spring, including these gorgeous Paeonia delavayi buds.
I thought I might be tempted in the nursery, but there really wasn’t much of interest. However, in the roped off area, look at all these sweeties. I think the pink pots denote that the plants have been grown at Nymans in peat free compost.
Nymans is a garden I’ve wanted to visit for years and, as I was close by, I popped in. However, I don’t really think I did it justice. Ideally I’d like to return on an occasion when I could have a proper garden tour to appreciate more of the rare, exotic species collected by the Messels from around the world, including particularly China and Chile and Tasmania. And preferably late in the summer, when I won’t be expected to admire the Rhododendrons and Camellias. 😉