Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Sissinghurst.....at last

At last I have got around to sharing with you some of my favourite photos from our visit to Sissinghurst Castle, in Kent, a few weeks ago.

Sissinghurst Castle was home to Vita Sackville-West, writer and poet, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat, which they bought during the 1930's and then transformed. Vita's "White Garden" is probably the most well known part of the garden, much of which is divided into garden rooms. 

You can read about Sissinghurst Castle and gardens here - it is a National trust property.

During the late 1940's and up to the early 60's, Vita wrote a weekly garden article for the Observer, and several compilations were later published which included some of these articles.  

I have an anthology which includes extracts from four of these books, and it has long been a favourite gardening book of mine to read, rather than to use as a reference book to refer to or to identify plants from, as it is written in a chatty and informative style. At times you can almost imagine you are there at Sissinghurst, pottering around the gardens with Vita at your side explaining about a particular plant or ideas for future plantings.

It is a charming compilation, from another time, and often assumes the reader has a certain basic knowledge of gardening, which in the days before television, kindles, laptops and i-phones, many people did. 

"........even a schoolchild knows the principles of seed-sowing.............."

But at the same time she explains carefully how to propagate, how to plant indoor flowering bulbs outside once they are over, and many other useful tips which stand the test of time.

For me a book to read during the autumn and winter months, curled up in a comfy chair in front of the fire, when you can't get out in the garden, the rain is falling steadily in a grey sky, and Spring seems far, far away.

Back to the garden. I'll let the photos speak for themselves apart from the odd note.

the white garden

 the white garden from the top of the tower (above)

 entrance to the Tower (above)

And Vita too must have felt the same sadness (as I and many other friends in blogland are feeling at present) at the speed in which the months pass and the seasons change. 

Referring to the making of the White Garden, she writes that "later on there will be white Japanese anemones and some white dahlias; but I do not like to think of later on. It is bad enough to have turned over into July, with the freshness of another May and June gone for ever."

V. Sackville-West's Garden Book.

Thank you for all of your visits and lovely comments on my last post. I am still behind with blog visiting for which I apologise, and am off soon to Bonnie Scotland for a wee break, after which I hope to get back into full blogging mode and catch up with you all!

I shall take Vita's book with me I think.

Mourn not the passing of Summer!