Garden in the ruins

The forecourt garden in spring

For the first time since the house was lost to fire in 1947, you'll be able to experience the same stunning views that led the Messel family to Nymans. Enjoy seeing the garden from across the terrace or the Weald above the woods.

James Comber, Head Gardener
James Comber by the Monkey Puzzle tree in front of the house
James Comber, Head Gardener

Plants named after Nymans and the Nymans Collection.

At the heart of the Garden in the Ruins will be the story between Ludwig Messel, his son Leonard and Head Gardener, James Comber, one of the great gardening partnerships of the 20th century. Together they created what is now called The Nymans Collection, which are plants, raised and connected with Nymans. The planting will include Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’, Camellia reticulata x williamsii ‘Maud Messel’ and the eponymous Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’.

Oliver Messel
Oliver Messel
Oliver Messel

The garden, designed by Assistant Head Gardener, Nick Delves, will reflect the creative legacy of Oliver Messel, a leading British costume and stage set designer of the mid twentieth century, who spent part of his childhood at Nymans. His most celebrated works included ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (1946) at the Royal Opera House for the Sadler’s Wells Ballet; operas by Mozart and Rossini at Glyndebourne; and Hollywood movies ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1936), ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ (1946) and ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ (1959).

 

" We're creating a theatrical backdrop of ornate trellis, topiary, and water features in which to showcase Nymans unique collection of plants."
- Nick Delves

Early spring update - 2020

The floor of the Great Hall has been propped underneath from the Billiard Room to support the weight of Garden in the Ruins. The main structures of the trellis screens, bespoke planters and water features have been installed. 

Members of Alzheimer Society with the team at Nymans
Members of Alzheimer Society with the team at Nymans
Members of Alzheimer Society with the team at Nymans

Our partnership with Alzheimer Society

We're working together with local Alzheimer Society support groups to create the new garden. In March the groups will be planting up ferns which they selected from around the garden at Nymans.

Gardeners at work
Gardeners at work
Gardeners at work

Get involved

We’re looking for new volunteers to help with this exciting new project. If you're interested in getting involved, please email nymans.volunteering@nationaltrust.org.uk to find out more.