Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Wednesday morning

Sissinghurst is just lovely. It was a medieval manor house, then quite a significant Tudor residence visited by both Mary and Elizabeth in their day. It then fell into ruin until taken over by Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West with their amazing vision for how the buildings and land could be combined with the available resources, financial, creative and inventive, to make it all happen. The garden is what people go to see. The buildings provide the perfect backcloth for the perfect explosion of colour, shape and variety that is the garden - or, rather, gardens. We walked from garden to garden, around and through the rose garden, the yew walk, the aromatic herb garden, the nuttery, along the moat and into the utterly amazing white garden with its huge swathes of wedding white flowers and silvery green foliage: Vita spent her last days in her bedroom in 1962 looking out over her beautiful white garden - I can't imagine a lovelier sight to comfort as one faces the last journey.
I will go back there. It's the sort of place that one wants to visit in season, out of season, all the year round. In the height of summer it was, of course, fantastic, but it will be beautiful in the snow, in the rich golds and crimsons of autumn, in the early year when the bulbs herald the dying of winter . . . and I mourn that I live too far away to make a regular day trip a valid proposition.

Photos: from Sissinghurst, of course. They really don't do it any kind of justice.

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