Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Nymans, Haywards Heath, West Sussex

Winter structure in the garden

After the wettest January on record and slow going with the creation of some of my gardens I decided to take a break and have an afternoon out at Nymans National trust property near Haywards Heath, West Sussex. It was of course raining but the winter colour on offer in the garden and a mug of coffee and a chocolate brownie in the Cafe helped to lift the winter blues. I even bumped into one of my lovely clients (hi Maggie).

Architecture in the landscape, review by garden designer Borrowed Space

Art Installation
One of the reasons I chose to visit Nymans was the promise of a sculptural installation by French artist Denis Tricot. The way the sculpture interacted with the old ruins and the landscape was a real inspiration. I always say that a garden should be site-specific and not just 'plonked' into a space. The same is true with sculpture and this is the perfect example of site-specific work.

Sculpture in the garden and landscape, review by garden designer Oliver Borrow

Site specific sculpture in the garden. review by garden designer Borrowed Space

Winter Colour
This may be a recurring theme of my blog in the winter months but when the occasional plant does send forth a brightly coloured flower or reveal some vivid stems they seem even brighter against the grey skies or browns and russets of the surrounding landscape.

Winter colour in the garden

Winter flowers in the landscape, review by garden designer Borrowed Space

Shape and Form
One thing that you really can notice when you walk around a well designed garden is the structure that holds the garden together. The bare bones of the garden are revelled and not only that but usually unnoticed shapes and forms can present themselves.

Structure in the gardena and landscape by Oliver Borrow

Winter Protection
Clients often ask me about winter protection and the use of exotic plants. We are generally very lucky living in London, Brighton or the South East as we have less frost and warmer winters than the rest of the UK and this means less need to protect our plants. If you are going to grow some exotic species as they obviously do at Nymans then here are some pictures of what to do.

Protecting tender plants in winter

Arresting Scents
One thing that is overlooked in many garden designs is smell. As you walk around Nymans this is the most arresting feature at this time of year; on several occasions I was actually stopped in my tracks with the hit of an intoxicating scent. The main culprits were some cleverly positioned Daphne and the less attractive but highly scented Sarcococca.

Scent and smells in the garden, review by garden designer Borrowed Space

Now and Then
This was not my first visit to Nymans, I had also been to take pictures at the height of summer in 2009. Here a couple of winter/summer comparisons....

Garden pergola, review by garden designer Borrowed Space