Sissinghurst Castle Garden

When in Kent, one has to go and see at least one of the gardens, for which the region is famous. The name Sissinghurst castle garden alone made me dream of something special. Sissi was an Austrian Empress, a little bit like the Princess Diana of her time. Including the tragic ending. But Sissinghurst castle garden has nothing to do with princesses, neither from Austria nor from England.

the outbuildings, probably the former pigsty @Sissinghurst Castle garden

To get there we drove through lots of back roads to finally arrive at Sissinghurst. No palace here nor castle, but rather a magical garden. Part of Sissinghurst was a pigsty in its first life, other parts a prison, ending up to become a home for a family. Eventually it was transformed into this enchanted castle and garden by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson. Vita Sackville is probably best known for her affair with Virginia Woolf.

main entrance @Sissinghurst Castle garden

We took the introduction tour and our guide had a real gift for telling stories about the past of Sissinghurst castle. From her we learned about the pigsty and the Sackville-West family. The castle itself was not really remarkable, there was not much to see inside. I liked the little pavilion on the castle grounds, which was used by a family member as his writing  nook.

a birdhouse and the writer’s nook in the back @Sissinghurst Castle garden

But it’s not the buildings on which to focus here. Already at the entrance you see that it’s the flowers and greenery which are the main attraction at Sissinghurst Castle.

luscious flowers and shrubs around the entrance @Sissinghurst Castle garden

First up we walked up the tower to get an overview of this huge garden area. There is of course more than one garden, but rather a plethora of gardens. From vegetables, to fruits, to flowers, to stone gardens, and so on. Since I am not a landscaper I can’t really say what we have seen. But from above there were clear differences between each part of the garden.

the tower we climbed up @Sissinghurst Castle garden

the garden @Sissinghurst Castle garden

another part of the garden @Sissinghurst Castle garden

looks like the desert garden @Sissinghurst Castle garden

The tower was the focus point of the garden, no matter where you were standing. It was always in plain view.

always in plain view @Sisinghurst Castle garden

As you can see the lawns looked really dry, not at all like the luscious green one is used to from England. At the time the country was going through a heat wave and the soil was parched. The trees and bushes were still lush, but the fields looked different.

strolling through the castle garden @Sissinghurst Castle garden

in the garden everything was still green @Sisinghurst Castle garden

who has an avenue of trees in its garden @Sissinghurst Castle garden

still part of the garden, just not as cultivated and rather parched @Sissinghurst Castle garden

At least some of the flowers  were still blooming, although we had been warned that due to the lack of water and the heat most of them were wilting. But they definitely deserves their own post. Yours, Pollybert

returning to the castle @Sissinghurst Castle garden

Let me know what you think

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