Sissinghurst on Leap Day

The last day of February brings more squalls from the west with intervals of piercing blue sky and pristine spring sunshine. The castle garden is subdued with the plants starting to grow but needing a run of warmer, gentler days; white magnolias are bursting; the crocus, iris, squill and summer snowflake are out; and aContinue reading “Sissinghurst on Leap Day”

Sissinghurst’s Rite of Spring

The gardeners continue to create colour wheel harmonies; bright and gaudy; cool and relaxed; the garden compartments have diverse compositions.  The spring bulbs, like brass, shout the loudest with purple and red fanfares everywhere. More muted arrangements in spring greens and whites are often simpler tunes in minor keys. All the many troughs, large and small, haveContinue reading “Sissinghurst’s Rite of Spring”

Sissinghurst in May

Sissinghurst Castle is a bustle of visitors and, on our second visit, the gardens have a degree of familiarity; the shape and juxtaposition of the different compartments, the various views and the patterns of colour more readily comprehended. Black and white images throw the place straight back to the 1930s when it all began, and show the dramaticContinue reading “Sissinghurst in May”

Sissinghurst

In the Spring of 1939, my mother accompanied her mother on a visit by the Hildenborough Women’s Institute to Sissinghurst Castle Garden.  The group alighted from a charabanc and were shown round the gardens by the owner, Vita Sackville-West. My mother, not quite in her teens, remembers a vibrant, kind woman with an easy manner.Continue reading “Sissinghurst”