Nymans is a unique and special place to visit in the spring. Drifts of tulips and naturalised bulbs are set among fine lawns and rolling countryside. Rhododendrons and camellias put on a stunning show of flamboyant colour, some of which have been bred at Nymans, including Pieris formosa, Camellia ‘Maud Messel’, Camellia ‘Leonard Messel’ and Rhododendron macabeanum.
One secluded and intimate area of the garden is the Wall Garden, with its informal swathes of spring flowering bulbs in amongst the long grass. Magnificent trees, an historic Italian fountain, Wisteria strewn pergolas and stone carved arches make this a very special place, particularly in spring. Be sure to look up and spot the delicate flowers of Cornus kousa and the white handkerchief flowers of Davidia involucrate trees. Spot camellia flowers, poking over the walls hidden by sub-tropical climbers and shrubs of South America.
Nymans has one of the finest collections of Chilean plants in the United Kingdom. There has been a collection of these plants since the 1920s when Harold Comber brought seed back from an expedition to the Andes, Chile and Argentina. The collection at Nymans can be found in the Wall Garden where the plants enjoy protection from the wind. Plants start flowering in May, lasting through to the winter months. Some of the plants you will see, nestled along the walls for protection, are Crinodendron hookerianam with its red lantern shaped flowers, Berberis valdiviana a mass of bright orange, Weinmannia trichosperma which, seen from a distance, appears to have fern like fronds, Jovellana violacea showing off its purple nodding flowers and Drimys winteri awash with sweet smelling blossom.
As the spring flowers start to dwindle away, the June Borders come into their own. Designed by the Countess of Rosse in the early 1960s, the intention was to provide interest in the garden in early summer. As the name suggests, the June Borders peak at the end of June and carry on flowering long into the summer months. Their structure is defined by a mixture of perennials such as Euphorbia ‘Excalibur’, Geranium ‘Patricia’ and Cirsium rivalare ‘Atropurpureum’ and summer flowering shrubs Staphylea holocarpa ‘Rosea’ and Deutzia longifolia ‘Veitchii’.
Other highlights to watch out for are the rock garden with its mixture of alpines and historic shrubs and the spectacular Wisteria floribunda (Macrobotrys group) which is over a hundred years old and covers a 100ft pergola by the croquet Lawn. Nymans also has a large collection of deciduous Rhododendrons that show off their dramatic colourful flowers throughout the spring into early summer; one of our favourites is Rhododendron luteum