Late summer blaze at Rymans

PUBLISHED: 15:26 18 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:52 20 February 2013

Late summer blaze at Rymans

Late summer blaze at Rymans

Dahlias and late season perennials star in the borders at Rymans in Apuldram this month

September is a relaxed time in the garden, the summer heat is over and there is a hint of autumn in the air. Perennials will keep blooming in an Indian summer and days still have that languid quality about them. A lovely place to see the percussive colours of September is Rymans in Apuldram, with its walled and hedged gardens surrounding a picturesque 15th century stone house.

The stunning medieval tower house was built in 1410 by William Ryman, a prominent merchant and lawyer, and the building has a connection with the bell tower of Chichester Cathedral, known as Rymans Tower as they are both built from stone from Ventnor. Legend has it that the bishop, alarmed at the proposed grandeur of Williams house, had stone intended for even grander additions diverted to Chichester Cathedral. Whatever the truth may be, and after a succession of owners and tenants, with various changes of fortune, the house remains a real gem.

When Suzanna Gayford moved to the property in 1996 the house was very run-down and the gardens overgrown. Over time she has completely renovated the house and redesigned the grounds. Assisting in the transformation of the gardens is head gardener Jamie Clarke, a plantsman with a shared interest in creating a long season of successional colour.

By the house are restrained formal parterres; their low hedges surrounding massed lavender, while further on you come to a pond garden softened by shrubs and perennial planting. Garden areas flow around the house with walled and other areas opening out to expanses of lawns dotted with shrub beds and rare trees. Taking centre stage in September is the long walk with herbaceous borders framed by pleached limes. As a focal point there is a wooden arbour and a centrally positioned urn.

September is grand finale time. The brighter, the better, comments Suzanna. The long borders are indeed ablaze with crimson dahlias, the last flush of roses, textural sedums and golden rudbeckias. There are iridescent nasturtiums scrambling up rustic poles in the vegetable garden and candy pink salvias amongst pale pink wafting Japanese anemones, catch the eye in the pond garden. Offering advice for others to get such a glorious late season burst, she suggests that one should be brave and be bold.

The gardens have been open through the National Gardens Scheme since 1997 and visitors have been able to watch the progress to maturity of the gardens with highlights of tulips in April, roses in June and the late-season planting in September. New plans are
always being developed as the gardens continue to evolve within their framework of structure
and mature planting in this atmospheric landscape. n

Rymans, Apuldram, Chichester PO20 7EG

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