Sissinghurst Castle Garden – National Trust

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Things to do


Date of travel

September, 2021

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Sissinghurst Castle Garden is a fascinating visit destination at any time of the year as the garden shows different faces in different seasons. Laid out within the remaining fragments of a grand, but now mostly lost Tudor house, it is the product of the creative energies of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville West. Their combined personal stories are brought to light by the many personal effects and furnishings, which give the interior spaces a fascinating, if faded grandeur. The garden itself is the chief glory of Sissinghurst. It developed from the arts and crafts and Edwardian garden tradition, laid out in rooms within the remaining tudor walls and buildings, with the great brick tower at its centre. Planting represents a move from formal layouts to more informal beds and borders and it is renouned for the quality of the planting and colour schemes, in particular the White Garden. Unfortunately there has been a decline in the quality of upkeep of these features recently, possibly as a result of Covid restrictions. Our visit in September 2021 revealed untidy borders, climbing roses unpruned, with long sprouting runners across windows and extending into the garden, including unfortunately the central Rosa Mulliganii in the White Garden. The tower is also still closed, due to a ceiling fall, so access to a raised view of the garden is prevented. This was the case when I last visited some 3 years ago, so it does not appear to be a priority for restoration. Instead the National Trust appear to have put all their effort into creating a Greek garden in front of the Priests House. The imported yellow stone of HD B this and informal drift planting, sits incongruously with the red, Tudor brick of the original house and the mock ruins are particularly false and undermine any integrity the feature might have posessed. I note the guide books have been reqwritten to justify this feature, but the resources could have better been used in the upkeep of the original buildings and garden. That said, it is a lovely day out and has a nice tea shop.


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