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!


  1. Wow, beautiful gardens!

    x Margriet

  2. They are such beautiful gardens. Some of those flowers I've never seen before.

  3. Thank you for the beautiful picture tour! this is definitely on my list of places to visit when we get to England.

  4. Thank you for a beautiful post, Gill. The pictures of Sissinghurst are such a treat, and the words are a wonderful accompaniment. I love the quote about the months going so fast. Wishing you a great trip to Scotland...how lovely it will be at this time of year!
    Helen xox

  5. What beautiful gardens, a really lovely post. Have a great trip to Scotland another wonderful place to visit and the perfect time of year no midges...

  6. Oh the bricks. I love bricks! The texture and then to be softened by all the pretty gardens. My heart longs to go there......sigh

  7. Ah Sissinghurst, a lovely place to visit. it is fairly close to our home so we pop over there quite often.

    Enjoy your Scottish trip.


  8. It's years since I've visited Sissinghurst. I love the white garden, and have bought some plants there to pop in my own garden - white of course!
    Have a great break. x

  9. Oh yes, as you know Gill, I feel exactly the same about the months going too fast.
    Your photos are beautiful, such an amazing place and lots of orange , which I love.
    I will have to look out that book, sounds like just my cup of tea.
    V x

  10. The same yet different!!! Thankyou so much for snapping the picture of the pergola in the white garden! We are hoping to recreate something similar in ours. Enjoy Scotland, Ive never been!

  11. Just beautiful. I especially like your pictures from the top of the tower. Hope you have a great time in Scotland. xx

  12. Oh, I SO enjoyed scrolling through those photos!!! What a beautiful - and English garden!!! Living over here in Germany, I do miss visiting Nataional Trust houses and gardens on Sunday afternoons! There doesn't seem to be an equivalent over here, sadly.

  13. What an inspirational, amazing place.....I love the colour combinations! Hope I get to visit one day :) xxx

  14. Lucky you! Thank you for sharing as she is quite famous world-wide.

  15. Lovely Sissinghurst post Gill, one of my favourite places as you know. I love that thing they do with the roses - bending the stems to turn them into a big flowery mound. Have fun in Scotland!
    Jane xx

  16. It looks fabulous. Enjoy your time in Scotland.

  17. What a treat! I don't know if I'll ever find my way to Vita's in person, and your photos are, as ever, gorgeous. :)

  18. Beautiful photo's of Sissinghurst Gill! One of my favourite gardens together with Hidcote!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x

  19. What a magical place! You could take a book...sit...and be lost in the moment!

  20. Thank you Gill, that was a delightful little trip I just took, thanks to your wonderful photos. I love all the brick paths. I think Sissinghurst must really be a very special place. Your book sounds delightful too, I love the cover on it. I hope you have a lovely trip to Scotland, and that you can find lots of things to amuse you and while away the hours. Much love, Linda xx

  21. Beautiful photos, what a special place to visit and the connection with Vita makes it seem even more so now. But I'm afraid I'm struggling not to mourn the passing of Summer! Something I always struggle with. I'll have to go and read the rest of that now to see if it helps. Hope you are or have had a great time in Scotland.

  22. I love all the little doorways, and nooks and crannies, and sitting areas etc. They really know how to create interest and curiosity as you wander round. Beautiful photos! I'm not mourning at all - I am always ready for Autumn when it comes, but by January/February I am DESPERATE for Summer again! xCathy


Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x