Magnolias are a very old group of plants originating from over 20 million years ago and have evolved to be pollinated by beetles rather than bees.
Nymans has a fantastic collection of rare and unusual Magnolias, some of which were collected in China in the early 1900s by the renowned plant hunter Ernest Henry Wilson (Chinese Wilson). This includes the magnificent Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta which can be found on the tennis lawn.
We also have many champion Magnolias, which means they are the tallest or have the largest girth of any of its species in Britain and Ireland. Magnolia x veitchii ‘Alba’ and Magnolia sargentiana are two of these and can be seen standing proud and in full flower, reaching heights of 17m. The first of these was raised at the royal nurseries of Peter C.M Veitch in 1907 and was planted at Nymans around 1918.
Carrying on the tradition of hybridisation and plant naming, Nymans has five Magnolias named after people connected to the garden: Magnolia x loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’, Magnolia ‘Thomas Messel’, Magnolia ‘Michael Rosse’, Magnolia ‘Anne Rosse’ and Magnolia denudate ‘Cecil Nice’. Cecil Nice was Head Gardener at Nymans from 1953 to 1980 and his Magnolia has beautiful flowers with soft pink petals. The original tree can be seen in the wall garden.