Nymans sunk garden rediscovery update

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The garden at Nymans is being preserved and redeveloped, inspired by our Conservation Management Plan (CMP). This research tool helps us to discover new gardening methods by understanding how the Messel family, the creators of Nymans, gardened here.

Our most recent rediscovery project, the sunk garden, started in 2011 and is entering its final stage.

Starting in winter 2012 - 2013, stage two of the sunk garden rediscovery project will see us:

  • Move rare and important camellias to form a ring surrounding the loggia
  • Prepare and plant outer beds with standard roses and nepeta
  • Remove existing yew hedges and front-line camellias
  • Plant yew columns

Here's where we've got up to as of May 2013:

During the winter we have seen some major developments in the sunk garden. Over 100 tonnes of soil collected from previous jobs in the garden has been gradually transported down to the sunk garden from its temporary storage area in the overflow car park.

This really was a big recycling effort - no soil from previous jobs throughout the garden has gone to waste - and we freed up some extra parking space in the overflow car park in time for a busy spring.

All 100 tonnes of soil was moved with our own tractors and trailers. The additional soil has reformed the sunken nature of the area and it is beginning to take on a new softer look.

How are the camellias that we transplanted?

The camellias that are of significance have been transplanted to either side of the loggia and, after a slow start due to the weather, have started shooting healthy new growth.

The yew columns have been planted as well around the elevated curve and this forms the new boundary to the area.

New planting and turfing

Over the spring, Darren and Chris have worked hard laying 700 square metres of turf. The mulching and planting up of the outer beds with Nepeta 'Dawn till Dusk' was also completed and the standard roses will be sourced bare root in the Autumn and will be ready for next year.

Either side of the Italianate Loggia, six Myrtle balls have been planted with Nepeta fassenii, which is the same plant used to underplant the Cypressus. Sadly, due to the weather this year, the Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ has not made it through. In its place we have planted a Calamintha which has an equally long flowering time and should withstand our cold winters. To increase the colourful flowering season in the sunk garden, tulips will be planted in the inner beds and this will give a dazzling spring display next year.