Sunday, 1 June 2014

Nymans in May

I am sure there are others like me who wanted to visit Nymans after seeing Chris Beardshaw's BBC Four programme about it recently, as part of the British Gardens in Time series. The shameful thing is, I go past it on the way to Brighton if I visit my sister by car, but for some reason 'Nymans' just didn't sound like a garden to me, and I was never curious enough to find out what that brown sign on the M23 was all about.

Well, I visited it a few weeks ago, and I was glad I did! It's a wonderful place - there is a wildflower meadow with oxeye daisies, woods with fantastic carvings, a beautifully colour-coordinated allium, scabious and astrantia bed, a rose garden. Dotted around the gardens were some dainty aquilegias and perfectly spherical alliums - and the bees loved them.

There were a few peachy beauties which caught my eye: the 'Crown Princess Margareta' rose, and the 'Souvenir de Maxime Cornu' tree peony.

My favourite part was the most incredible wisteria-covered walkway. I had no idea wisteria was so scented. The walkway has now made it into my fantasy garden! There was also wisteria going up the house, and an unusual white wisteria near the secondhand bookshop.

My sister doesn't tend to look at things if you point to them or smell flowers if you put them under her nose, but I'd love to take her here one day and see how she responds to the scents. There are many unhelpful generalisations about autism (I would recommend reading 'The Reason I Jump' if you want an insider view of autism), not least that people with autism don't like sensory experiences. It's true my sister doesn't like being in a crowded, noisy shopping centre, but then again, who does?! But she does seem to enjoy the sensation of walking on a beach or in a park, hearing the sea or the birds, seeing the colours and the gentle movements, so I think she would enjoy a trip to Nymans. I'll post again if I manage to take her!

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