The old place is quiet on a hot day; the struggling borders are fading into autumn. The new Mediterranean garden perfectly evokes a dusty, desiccated island in the Aegean except there is no loud, monotonous rasp of cicadas. Even after a long drought of a summer, there is still enormous inspiration from the the planting; the collapsing banks of perennial asters sheltering gaudy pink colchicums; the huge flower-filled urns, statues and seats that punctuate the various performances; all perfectly framed by deep green, yew hedges and rust brick walls, set beneath a Disneyesque castle and stupidly long, manor house. Sissinghurst is always great theatre.
As the clouds draw slowly across the day, the humidity rises and by late afternoon the gardens are lit by a weak shafts of warm light under a threatening September sky. Swallows and martins appear, dipping and twisting but always running for the coast and helplessly, we watch them go.