Over the Garden Wall at Nyman’s

ny27Yesterday I asked if you could guess what these Alliums were hiding. I think that a couple of you guessed what I meant.

ny21Here’s the house, beautiful isn’t it?

ny18Here’s the hedge behind the alliums.

ny25Fabulous reflections?


Perhaps if we get a little closer.

ny22Some attention needed?

Here are some more alliums, and the very sad and hauntingly beautiful façade of the house.


And another view.

ny26Where you can clearly see that there are very few glazed windows and no reflections . In 1947 Messel’s eldest son Lennie was at home, recuperating from surgery in one of England coldest winters. When the pipes were frozen, a plumber used a blow torch in an attempt to defrost them and a fire broke out. By the time the fire brigade arrived the house was engulfed and those same frozen pipes prevented access to the water needed. Most of the house was lost, as well as several generations of the families treasured collections, including art, horticultural books and irreplaceable items. Just a few rooms and the garden remained intact.

In 1987, Nyman’s fell victim to another disaster. When the great storm hit the country, 486 trees, many rare and very old were lost. By then the National Trust owned the garden and rather than see it as a total disaster, the hurricane damage was seen as an opportunity for regeneration. A garden is never finished and the work at Nyman’s, as in any garden, continues into the future.

ny20If you’re quick, you can see a BBC4 programme, British Gardens in Time, on i player. It tells the history of the garden and the Messel family and is available for about three weeks. Jude, you’ll love the programme if you have time, but otherwise I hope you enjoy your time there. I kind of did these posts on purpose, so that you would visit and photograph it in it’s late summer glory.

For now, I’ll leave you all with the picture of the pretty dove cote.


52 thoughts on “Over the Garden Wall at Nyman’s

  1. Missed your post yesterday, Gilly, but we did see the Gardens in Time programme on Nymans. Presume Jude’s going near there on her pet sitting mission? It looks wonderful! Shame about the house though, isn’t it? 🙂

      1. Oh that would be fun to try thanks! I’m hoping to enter a flash fiction in a competiton that closes on the 31st, just tidying up a 200 word story at the mo. I don’t usually do them but a very talented lady in my writing group said i should with one I wrote last week. If i do it in time, this could be next!

  2. You satisfied my curiosity just about quickly enough! And it was the last thing I expected. How could flowers (and a hedge) hide something so grand? You tell it’s story with great narrative skill, hitting us with the ruin, after the very substantial facade. I’d like to live in the dovecote!

  3. Thanks Gilly, how sad to see the house in near dereliction. I think I know which part of these gardens Sue likes best now! I saw the British Gardens program when they were first on last year I think, wonderful programmes, but I may have another look at Nymans as I shall be visiting it next week. Hope I can take photos as good as you have done. The house façade behind the alliums is beautiful.

  4. We’ve recently watched the series of 4 programmes on British gardens, and I just realised this is the same house and garden we saw last week. What a tragic story it was at the end, but I’m so happy to know that the garden is being well cared for by the National Trust. Beautiful photos, Gilly. 🙂

      1. I’m still experimenting with my new theme.
        (This comment is supposed to come after my first one, but WP seems to be playing around with our comment boxes now, and it’s harder to add something more to a reply.)

  5. beautiful despite all those setbacks. i have to admit back in the day when i studied linguistics and had to prepare a paper on ancient Chinese, i sometimes thought how kind it would have been to students such as myself if only there had been more fires in the past destroying the documentation and information that i was now obligated to research and put together into some presentable. just kidding of course, but still… i did have those thoughts.

  6. Ah, I love Nymans! Haven’t been for a while, but should be returning next week… I have taken photographs of that house a number of times, but I need to hunt out the ‘in need of attention’ part…..can’t place that bit!

      1. Meg, I’m always jealous when other people go to great places that I would have liked to, and when they meet people I would like to be with…very understandable! Photos of Nyman’s coming to a blog near you soon!!

      2. Ooooops! Why did I call you Meg, Gilly?? I do know why, I’m very fatigued and trying to pretend it’s not true….time to recognise it and rest….

  7. Wow, wow and wow again, your photos are stunning Gilly/Meg!!!! haha… I love the composition with the white Arum Lillies around the door, and the window with the reflections. Sue is going to be in her element among those ruins and Jude will be in 7th heaven with all the flowers I look forward to more on this beautiful garden in their blogs. Aren’t they lucky going together. It is rather special meeting up with blog buddies.

  8. This is a fantastic post, Gilly. I love the architecture. The gardens are spectacular. I am going to look up the series on my Netflix provider. They carry lots of documentaries. I hope they have this one. It sounds very interesting. 😊 I’m going to look at Sue’S photos.

I would love to hear from you . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s