Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Kent, UK
One of the most famous gardens in England
"Any color so long as it's white"
I borrow this quote from “the Blog of the Sissinghurst Gardens Site” just because it fits so well for all the lovers of a White Garden. However, Sissinghurst is so much more than only a White Garden, Vita herself called it “her gray, green and white garden”. The Sissinghurst Castle Garden was created by the married couple Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, where Harolds formal design was combined with Vita excess of planting.
The Sissinghurst Castle Garden with it’s White Garden is the most famous sections and and attracts visitors all year round. If you are nearby, Sissinghurst is a “must” for each Garden Lover and “the source of inspiration” for anyone who has a garden of their own. Come and have a look yourself – and let this garden inspire you – as it has inspired thousands of garden enthusiasts before me.
Structure of the Garden
A white garden has a calming effect and even if there are thousands of flowers, it never feels “over-killed” Thank to it’s gray and green foliage the set-up feels organized and the garden transmits a small world of harmony. Most of the flowerbeds has a border of the evergreen Buxus – separating the different flower beds.
Most plants are perennials – even if you do see some annuals, like eg. the Cosmos. You find a wide range of white perennials and if am not mistaken, below is the Achillea Ptarmia “Double Diamond” which nicely fills up any empty spaces. Unfortunately, I missed the rambler, Rosa mulliganii that blooms in spring and is so famous for covering the Pergola in The White Garden section at mid-summer.
While the White Garden is the most known, there are 8 additional areas, some of them with a color scheme too. The Purple Border is actually a mix of pink, blues, lilacs while the Rose Garden, built 1950 is dominated by dark red, magenta through to blue. In the “South Cottage Garden” you will find the hot colors like scarlet to yellow.
“The Lime Walk” also called the Spring Garden is another unique attraction for around 4 weeks in spring. This is a formal garden, solely created by Harold and is a walk with 2 rows of Limes, with a huge number of bulbs planted along it. It includes for example a sea of Fritillaria, Hyacints and Tulips accompanied by terracotta pots with – of course, bulbs.
Plan your visit
I was told that Sissinghurst has most visitors when the Wisteria Venusta is in full bloom in May. Regardless of the time of the year, you will need at least 2 hrs for a visit – even more if you don’t want to rush it through. Ending up in the restaurant and in the shop – add 1 hour more. This is National Trust property since 1967.