Our final destination on our Kent trip was over the border in Sussex: the gardens at Nymans, considered to be one of the best in the area. It’s the result of work by the Messel family covering the period from 1890 to 1992.
In total three generations of the Messel family have lived at Nymans, from the late 1800’s until 1947 when the house was tragically destroyed by fire, resulting in the dramatic, overgrown ruins you see today.
The garden covers approximately 30 acres set on the side of a valley at 500 feet and although partly sheltered by the woods of the Sussex Weald, suffered much damage during the Great Storm of October 1987, losing 486 mature trees and many of the shrubs. The restoration of the garden continues within the overall plan laid out by Ludwig Messel.
The garden is laid out in a series of rooms the different levels connected by stone steps or grassy slopes, the ‘rooms’ are separated by hedges walls or trees which provide shelter for the rare and exotic plants for which the garden is renowned. The individual gardens include the Wall Garden (the oldest), The Knot Garden, The Rose Garden, The Top Garden, The Sunk Garden, The Pinetum and several others.