A garden lover's delight

Nymans wall garden in spring

Discover intriguing ruins, statues and views 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.

Bomarea caldassii 4 at Nymans
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
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 Harold Comber, James' 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 Forrest.

Nymans wall garden in spring
Nymans wall garden in spring
Nymans wall garden in spring

The garden

At 13 hectares the garden holds one of the most comprehensive documented collections of Chilean and Argentinian species cultivated in the British Isles. The fact that many of these plant introductions still survive at Nymans today is significant as these may respresent genetic material that has been lost from wild populations. 

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
Summer at Nymans

The nursery

Always busy sowing seeds, taking cuttings and potting on plants for the garden and plant centre, the nursery grows around 7,000 annuals for seasonal displays and supports garden projects in growing specific plants where they can. Conservation propagation is carried out all year round on our significant plant collection with added support from the National Trust Plant Conservation Centre. 

Nymans nursery is the home of the Nymans Collection, which you can find in our plant centre. This collection is a representation of the planting you can see around Nymans today. The plants are propagated on site and grown peat-free behind the scenes in our nursery; taking home a part of this collection helps support our conservation work.