The gates open at 11am sharp and I’m the first to hand in my Shilling token (the price Vita originally charged visitors) to the helpful attendants and I’m flying through, skirting the lawns in front of the Tower and into the woodland Delos garden, before hitting the White Garden (bare bones at this time of year and striking still) – for a few fleeting minutes, I had the gardens to myself!
This lady, out in the open now but in summer, hidden among the foliage of a mature weeping pear, Pyrus salicifolia pendula.
The delicate metal tracery of this structure holds a vigorous, but tamed, Rosa mulliganii –
The magnolias have just burst into blossom here in the depths of Kent – they have been flowering for a couple of weeks nearer to me, at Kew and RHS Wisley – but this show is new.
Cutting through a gap in the hedge, we are out into the meadow and encompassing waterway.
Wood anemones throng one border
The bee keepers are taking their first look at the three hives since the autumn – one is doing very well, two less so, but still alive. He introduced himself – Roger, or Robert?
In many seasons, the show of narcissus is over before the gardens open for the year – this year we can all enjoy the display.
Long vistas created with the Yew hedging – views which criss-cross the gardens and make it seem infinitely larger than it is…
Crossing over into the Lime Walk, underplanted with a myriad spring bulbs, many housed in pots sunk into the ground to give them the conditions they need, allowing unfettered growth to the weaker plants and limiting the spread of the more vigorous types. This is all mapped out with mathematical precision, which belies the very natural look achieved!
Extending on from the Lime Walk is the Nuttery, a less formal though still linear space with coppiced trees and a carpet of woodland spring plants.
A rather lovely combination of peaches and cream, this flowering quince against the old brick wall.
Figaro, the Sissinghurst Cat.
Pruning – and training – roses the Sissinghurst Way. I’ll add some links to this technique, which looks marvellous. Equally well-tamed, these wall trained figs –
A pale pink Pulsatilla – Perlen Glocke
and from the top of the Tower, a panorama of the gardens, wider estate and countryside beyond…
and especially this blog –
https://sissinghurstcastle.wordpress.com/ – notes from the gardeners at Sissinghurst..
From my archives…