The garden of England

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We arrived just before the garden opened on a blisteringly hot day. Sissinghurst is so famous and in my mind I had been there many times through TV programmes, books and photos. Yet nothing really prepares you for the real thing. With its famous design scheme of long alleys and separate rooms, I had expected it to be a little like Laurence Johnston’s magnificent Hidcote which was an influence. But it is even more intimate and beautiful. Everything seems in such perfect harmony that it’s hard to imagine it not existing 100 years ago and easy to overlook the challenge Harold Nicholson faced of mapping out straight lines in a garden which is not a perfect rectangle, using only a tape measure and string. And you feel Vita’s presence everywhere – in the rich abundance of her remarkable planting schemes and in her room in the Tower which remains as she left it so many years ago. Lingering in the extraordinary rose garden, which captivates you with its colours and scent, or in the much imitated but never equalled white garden, I pictured her and Harold working each day in the gardens or observing the changing light and seasons from her window. An earthly paradise.

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5 thoughts on “The garden of England

  1. Wow oh wow!!
    I have only seen photos of Sissinghurst previously. How magnificently you have captured these gorgeous gardens in word and image. I really hope to visit one day. I Love this!! Thank you Emily, xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Barbara! It really was wonderful going to the top of the tower and I can see why Vita found it inspiring to work there. I would have loved to go inside her room but understandably, this is normally closed to the public. I thought of you during my visit and thought how much fun it would have been to go there with you. Next time!

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