Sissinghurst Castle and Garden, with its history and characters that created it, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson, is an experience that feels like you are partaking in a novel; a day out here will linger long in your memory.

When Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson set about creating the garden, they had a clear divide for the work. Harold took up the structure of the garden and Vita would bring it to life with her planting. Looking back at this it’s clear to see that it was a masterstroke. The pair were clearly playing to each other’s strengths.

Vita was very keen to provide a garden that had interest throughout most of the year. To do this she created different garden rooms with seasonal planting. This provided moments of colour from spring through to autumn. It created a legacy of planting which serves the present day garden very well. Seasonal flourishes last until the end of autumn.

The Gardening Year

The garden moves with the year. Come the autumn, with longer shadows and colder days the garden transforms once again. With lots of autumnal highlights through the garden and out on the estate there’s still plenty to see.

The cottage garden is one such room, it was designed to be a spectacle in the late season. It starts to shine in the late summer. This carries through to September and October with a rich tone of golden yellows and fiery oranges. The cottage garden also has the first rose that Vita planted as she developed her home. Called ‘Madame Alfred Carrière’, it leans up against the south side of the south cottage.

The purple border was renewed in 2018 with vibrant blues and purples. This border which runs alongside the outer wall of the Delos garden comes into its own during the early autumn. It provides a contrast to some of the other colours in the garden.

Woodland walks: The estate is a great place to be during the autumn months. There’s wildlife in abundance from cows in the fields to smaller critters hiding in the woodlands. However, it’s not only wildlife that flourish at this time of year but also the woodland itself. The trees make for a canopy of yellows, browns and reds which add an extra special touch to estate walks. In the wider estate the tenant farmer is hard at work harvesting the fields which makes for a great view across the low Wealden landscape.

Views, vistas and photography:

Because of such a diverse estate of parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland there’re some great opportunities to take a wide variety of pictures.

  • The top of the Vegetable Garden – Not only a great place to have a picnic if the sun is shining but it’s a truly jaw dropping view at any time of the year with a far-reaching view across the low Wealden landscape.
  • Lake Field – Aptly named as its the field that sits just next to the upper side of the lakes. There’re lots of great angles to capture a perfect nature scene across the lakes which is brimming with wildlife which changes throughout the seasons.
  • Park Field – The large field that sits alongside the drive has a great view back toward the top of the tower.
  • The wetland boardwalk – Nestled with in the foliage next to one of the lakes is a marshy wetland that can be navigated via a boardwalk. So this area makes for a great photo with its rich biodiversity and views back across the lake.

To visit Sissinghurst by coach contact Holt Services