Exploring the Flowering Gardens of the historic Nymans in Sussex.
“Welcome to Nymans, would you like a map?“, I am asked at the main entrance. “I’m fine thank you, I’ve been here many times before” is my reply. I have visited Nymans several times before, and again I return to see the seasonal changes in the beautiful gardens. I enter the estate through the traditional ‘National trust’ shop, surrounded by the wholesale goods that the majority of the National Trust sites have from the dark chocolate marzipan to the little bug collecting kits for children. Immediately after the main entrance, I am surrounded by plant sales, from flowers to shrubs of varying colours, shapes and sizes that can be purchased and taken home for your own little bit of historic Nymans.
After navigating through these raised flower and shrub beds, I am presented with two paths, one on the left and one leading forwards. The most appealing is straightforward, as this is quiet and under the cover of full and bushy trees. This will be today’s route to explore the gardens.
The gravel path leads through various species of trees from common oak to Japanese maples, with their triangular bright red leaves standing out against the green backdrop. Out of seemingly nowhere, small wavering flowers appear in the undergrowth. Cyclamen, delicate with white and pink flowers fluttering in the light breeze. This marks the start of the journey through an immense and diverse range of flora.
Passing through fountains and rose gardens suddenly the remains of mansion appear, made ruin by a fire in the early part of the twentieth century, still standing proud among the trees and flower beds and tightly surrounded by banana trees and various types of magnolia. I could have ventured inside here to view the remaining rooms that are preserved from the time of the buildings ultimate fate, but I chose instead to sit on the huge, well cared for lawn and watch.
On my left, people are rushing around, doing the preparations for a couple’s most important day, with candles, chairs, and bouquets of amazing world flowers all in the setting of front lawn at Nymans. A wedding I am sure no one will forget. All over the gardens, families sit and picnic in the sunshine, children playing at gymnastics and Frisbee, while the older generation while away the time, contemplating and watching, maybe reminiscing of another time, a past time.
This is Nymans. Colour, variety, fresh air, diverse range of visitors and peace.
National Trust members, entry is free
Parking is Free
Address: Handcross, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6EB
Price Adults/Children: £12.00 and £6.50 respectively