The Garden Landscape Guide

Nymans Garden

The garden was started by Ludwig Messel in 1890 and looked after by his family after his death. Arthur Hellyer remarked that it is 'a collector's garden, yet it is also a designed garden'. One regrets that the two enthusiasms are rarely combined. There are good collections of magnolias, camellias, eucryphias and heathers. William Robinson advised on the herbaceous borders, which are punctuated with topiary

Handcross, nr Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England, RH17 6EB

Mid February to October: Open 11 am to 6pm Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays. November to mid February: Open 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday only.

Adult £8.50 (includes voluntary Gift Aid donation)

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  • almost 6 years by NC Garden Traveler 4 / 5

    We visited Nymans in May 2010. This is a wonderful garden with an outstanding tree collection (several Davidia - handkerchef trees - were in bloom). The layout is excellent and the remains of the house provides an exceptional visual space. I was tempted to comment that its collection of trees makes it comparable to the perennials at Sissinghurst, but the inconsistent labeling and lower level of maintenance make it a great 4-star garden.

    The garden is very close to Gatwick airport and very accessible if you are on a tight schedule - as we were.
  • over 6 years by Charlotte 5 / 5

    Former home of the Messel family - this is always a good garden to find unusual plants, thanks to founder Ludwig Messel's patronage of the early Himalayan plant hunters last century.
    Particularly stunning in the spring when all the bulbs are out and in the autumn, when the walled garden is a riot of colour; the trees are ablaze and the hilltop position affords wonderful views over the Sussex Weald.
    Burnt-out house provides a great backdrop to many unusual plants and the sunken garden is always a feast for the eyes!

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Nymans Garden, Autumn 2009 Photograph © Charlotte Weychan
Nymans Garden, West Sussex Photograph © C.E. Bourke/The Art of English Gardens
Nymans Garden, West Sussex Photograph © Charlotte Weychan
Nym Photograph ©
Nymans Garden, Autumn Photograph © Charlotte Weychan