Troy talking to the group on top of the Tower
Although Sissinghurst has quite a storied history, it wasn't until 1930, when Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West arrived and revitalized the neglected Elizabethan property, that it started to become what we know it as today. Located in Kent (about 20 minutes from Dixter), Sissinghurst sits amid a wonderful mixture of woods and farmland. Despite their limited design background, Harold and Vita masterfully dissected the space into a series of rooms, making the 6 acres feel much bigger, without losing its sense of intimacy. Hedges, composed mostly of Yew and Boxwood, play a major role in the partitioning of rooms, and are a work of art in and of themselves. Remnants of the original walls also delineate space, while lending to much of Sissinghurst's unique character.
A view from the Tower shows the layout of rooms outlined by walls and hedges
Heralded as one of the flagship gardens in England, Sissinghurst is truly a remarkable mixed composition of formality and informality. While some point to the White Garden, and others the Rose collection, or still others the tightly clipped hedges, to me, Sissinghurst's greatest attribute is its spacial balance and flow, coupled with a most effective combination of hard and soft elements.
View of the Elizabethan Tower from the White Garden
Fifty-plus years after the passing of Vita and Harold, Sissinghurst still pays tribute to the visionaries and creators of this gem. The garden is carefully and thoughtfully maintained in such a way as to respect and carry on their work. With the passing of the baton to Troy, I expect there will be changes in the coming months and years, but all for the betterment and quality of this special place.
A small tribute in the Tower stairwell