The garden at Nymans

Crocuses coming into flower throughout the garden

Discover intriguing ruins, statues and summerhouses at Nymans with planting schemes to give year-round beauty and interest. Created by Ludwig Messel in the late nineteenth century, Nymans is a garden lover's delight with significant international and plant heritage collections.

International collection

Nymans is packed full of exotic species from around the world. In the Wall Garden find plants from China and Chile and across the road in the Wild Garden discover the Tasmanian collection. As one of the United Kingdom's most exquisite gardens, Nymans is a mix of formal and informal areas with far reaching views and colour all year round. See what the garden team are working on currently by reading their latest news in the Nymans garden blog.

Bomarea caldassii 4 at Nymans
Bomarea caldassii 4 at Nymans

Ludwig Messel's vision

Ludwig Messel wasn't just a plantsman, he was a designer too, who carefully considered his planting schemes. He worked closely with his trusted Head Gardener James Comber.

They were a perfect partnership with Ludwig providing the inspiration and Comber the horticultural expertise. Ludwig was passionate about plants and happy to spend vast amounts of money on his garden, working with Comber to breed new cultivars. 

Ludwig and Annie Messel at Nymans
Ludwig and Annie Messel at Nymans

Carrying on the tradition

After Ludwig's death Nymans was inherited by Leonard and Maud Messel. Under Maud's direction significant changes were made to the house, while Leonard focussed on developing Nymans plant collections and worked closely with Comber to realise his plans.

The two became friends and developed Nymans collection of rare plants alongside James Comber, Harold's son, who became a well respected botanist and plant hunter. Harold collected plants from the Andes and Tasmania while other plants were sourced by plant hunters Ernest Henry Wilson and George Forest.

Nymans wall garden in spring
Nymans wall garden in spring

The garden

At 13 hectares the garden holds the second largest collection of South American plants in the UK (the largest in England) with both informal and formal areas encompassing topiary, exhuberant planting, flower meadows and wild areas as well as more manicured lawns. The garden is constantly evolving and a joy in every season.

Summer at Nymans
A view across the main lawn towards the house

The nursery

Always busy sowing seeds, pricking out, potting on and hardening off young plants, the nursery grows around 7,000 plants a year for the garden. It also carries out plant conservation, working closely with the National Trust's Plant Conservation Centre.

You can buy some of the plants we grow at Nymans in our plant centre, taking home a piece of Nymans at the end of your visit and helping fundraise for conservation projects at the same time. The shop also sells the Nymans guidebook where you can read more about the story behind the creation of the garden. 

A garden trainee learning new skills at Nymans
A garden trainee learning new skills at Nymans

Are you starting out in a career in horticulture? 

HBGTP placements  are now open for applications. HBGTP placements provide practical work experience in a rich learning environment through a broad range of activities within an historic and/or botanic garden. Under the scheme, managed by English Heritage and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, students can earn a salary while developing professional skills.

There is a placement on offer at Nymans - we are passionate about teaching and inspiring the next generation of gardeners.  Nymans is one of the country's most iconic gardens with plants from all corners of the world, set in an area of outstanding beauty. It is an amazing place to learn and expand your knowledge in all aspects of Horticulture.Placements are starting in September 2017, the closing date for applications is the 1st April 2017.   You can find more details and apply online