Spring began to fizz at Sissinghurst Castle, a look back to 2015 – and the whole show will just get better and better…. @Sissinghurst NT #SpringWatching

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!

IMG_0696IMG_0673IMG_0697IMG_0698IMG_0703IMG_0704This lady, out in the open now but in summer, hidden among the foliage of a mature weeping pear, Pyrus salicifolia pendula.

IMG_0708The delicate metal tracery of this structure holds a vigorous, but tamed, Rosa mulliganii –

IMG_0710IMG_0712IMG_0713IMG_0714The 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.

IMG_0718IMG_0721Cutting through a gap in the hedge, we are out into the meadow and encompassing waterway.

IMG_0723Wood 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?

IMG_0736IMG_0742IMG_0743IMG_0746In many seasons, the show of narcissus is over before the gardens open for the year – this year we can all enjoy the display.

IMG_0739IMG_0747IMG_0750IMG_0748Long vistas created with the Yew hedging – views which criss-cross the gardens and make it seem infinitely larger than it is…

IMG_0752IMG_0753IMG_0754IMG_0756IMG_0759IMG_0783IMG_0788IMG_0761Crossing 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.


IMG_0866IMG_0876IMG_0878IMG_0883A 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

IMG_0908IMG_0789IMG_0801IMG_0793IMG_0797IMG_0796IMG_0792IMG_0918and 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…






3 thoughts on “Spring began to fizz at Sissinghurst Castle, a look back to 2015 – and the whole show will just get better and better…. @Sissinghurst NT #SpringWatching

  1. Glorious dear Vita and Harold who built this set of gardens are perhaps still watching over it. Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote was the first to build a large garden in that part of England. Vita went to see it and drown in it scents so just had to try a garden herself. Lovely people in a lovely creative easy life.Not so today as the expense of making a garden as they could is staggering. That is why i bit the bullet and came to Europe where one still can build gardens as they did. No future in Britain for creative gardeners unless on TV to own such an acreage of artwork

  2. Thank you for the amazing beauty you have shared with me today. What a wonderful tour you have given
    us…it is medicine, it is day dream, it is both heavenly and earthborn…

    1. Dear Alice, thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. It has been a joy to revisit some of the places visited in years’ past – and to think that I had taken entirely for granted my ability to do just that. I look forward to creating new memories in the future and to sharing them with you. Kind regards, Martin

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