Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My 2016 Trip to England--My Visit to Sissinghurst Castle!

An Overview of Some of the Garden Spaces of Sissinghurst!
Part of the Castle!
The Elizabethan Tower Where Vita Sackville West Did Her Writing!
A Very Traditional Herb Garden!
The Chamomile Bench
Monique Describing The Work Being Done to Restore the Lion Pond!
Wednesday was a dreary rainy day.  Not a particularly good day to see a garden.  This was my third visit to Sissinghurst Castle, the home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson and two out of three times it has rained!  I was meeting one of our Dutch friends' neighbors who works at Sissinghurst Castle.  She offered to show me around the grounds.  It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  I caught the train to Staplehurst and it was still pouring rain.   I did splurge and hired a taxi from Staplehurst train station to the castle.  A very wise decision.  On a good day you can take a bus from the station and then walk about a mile to the castle from the bus stop.  The taxi dropped me off just near the ticket office.

I met Monique who said that she had to keep working and that she had a couple of meetings at the end of the day.  She would be able to show me around close to 5:00 PM.  So I decided to have lunch because the National Trust runs Sissinghurst Castle and they have a very nice restaurant there.  Then I bought my ticket and got to the Elizabethan Tower before it really started to rain again.  The tower has a beautiful library/writing space where Vita wrote many articles and books on all sorts of topics, including gardening.  I have two of her books,  A Joy of Gardening, A Selection for Americans and In Your Garden taken from articles written for The Observer, a newspaper which still exists today.  At the very top was an observation deck which I waited until the rain passed by to get photos.  What I loved about Vita Sackville-West was that she needed to have an herb garden and a very traditional one at that, but she used herbs more in decorations and potpourri than in cooking.  Her cook did have herbs for cooking near the kitchen, but the formal herb garden was away from the castle and sheltered by a hedge from the winds.  There is no better garden to understand garden rooms and space in the garden than at Sissinghurst Castle.

So when Monique did join me she told me about the work she was doing as a landscape architect in restoring the gardens to a specific time frame and how she came to Sissinghurst Castle with her son on holiday, then applied for a job and has been able to continue to work despite lack of funding for her position.  Such an interesting life she has.  We have made plans to get together again in 2017.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'll have more photos tomorrow.

A beautiful day in the herb garden today.  The Herbal Husband was watering because we are in need of rain.  I picked more raspberries and will be setting up another batch tonight to make tomorrow.  I think after the jam is made tomorrow we will be working on getting the weeds out of the front garden and maybe planting some more plants.  Always something to plant!  Hope you had a great day.  I will talk to you tomorrow!   


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Thanks for those wonderful pictures of Sissinghurst Castle. How great to be able to see them in person.

We need rain down here too. It keeps being predicted but going all around us. :-( I need to go put the sprinkler on as it is one of my three days to be able to use it.

Have a great day in the burg ~ FlowerLady

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...thanks for the tour! I am totally borrowing the idea of a chamomile bench--I love it!!

Carol said...

Those gardens are breath taking. I'd never come inside if I had gardens like that :) We got rain last night so "Clyde" the sprinkler is still on vacation :) But it's still so humid and Hot HOT HOT!!!! here.