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Sunday 28 April 2019

Garden and Clothes Fashion at Sissinghurst

Woman posed by an arch with spring planting at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent

Had a day off last week to visit the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, with Lynn. The gardens were created by poet and writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold, a diplomat and author. When they moved in, the gardens and original castle were a complete ruin. They weren't professional gardeners but created gardens including the much copied white garden.

The weather had turned a bit cooler after the Easter heatwave and Storm Hannah was supposed to be arriving but it stayed dry. I wore my Boden ankle skimmer jeans, red t-shirt and statement necklace and red/pink sandals from Marks and Spencer (last season). The white boucle "lady" jacket is also last season's from River Island. My red bag from Dune finished off the look.

The sandals have the M&S Footglove foot bed, so they're quite comfortable for walking around.

Seated among the fragrant wallflowers at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

We had a guided tour round the cottage where Harold did his writing, by the window, with this glorious view; and in the sitting room it was easy to imagine the couple smoking away, with their dogs in front of the fire.

We also climbed the last remaining tower, where Vita's library is housed. This is one of the views from the top.  The ringing of a bell up there made us jump out of our skins.

Looking down at the gardens from the tower at Sissinghurst in springtime

We had possibly missed the best of the spring white garden, although there were still a lot of white tulips and honesty, and yellow wallflowers. A good white garden has a lot of variation in the greenery and also a subtle touch of colour, otherwise it becomes dull.

A giant planter and smaller containers with white tulips and narcissus in the springtime white garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Some of the other walled gardens had the most spectacular displays of colour and form.

Woman on bench flanked by containers of red tulips at Sissinghurst Castle garden
Here's Lynn, who kindly took most of the pictures.

The gardens are worth seeing in all the seasons. Lynn lives nearby and has seen them in winter, with the frost.  We may go back in the late summer as I noticed they have a lot of hot coloured plants including crocosmia and kniphofia. I imagine mid summer is also wonderful with the many sweet peas scrambling up willow obelisks, and of course all the roses! 

Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon in red and white with blue jeans in Sissinghurst Gardens

One of the reasons the gardens work so well is that they combine Harold Nicolson's love of symmetry and form, and Vita's policy of cramming in as many plants as possible in airy combinations.

Posing between tall clipped hedges over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon at Sissinghurst

Over 50s blogger Gail Hanlon seated on the steps of an outbuilding with diamond pane windows at Sissinghurst Castle garden in Kent

We adjourned to nearby Sissinghurst village for a spot of lunch. The Milk House was our choice and very nice it was too - we both had fish and chips followed by a rhubarb and ginger posset with candied macadamias and coconut cream.  It's a former 16th century hall house, with timber beams and a Tudor fireplace,

Exterior shot of The Milk House pub and restaurant in Sissinghurst Village, Kent

I'd love to create a white garden of my own, but it would mean removing 95% of my existing plants including three monster Clematis Montanas. To see my modest little garden, visit my other blog, here and here. 

I'm back on Wednesday with the #WowOnWednesday link up. Hope to see you then. Which are your favourite gardens that are open to the public?  Love to hear your recommendations.

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  1. Sounds and looks like a great place to visit in May! We will be visiting Leeds castle too, they have fantastic gardens! Great outfit for a lovely day out!

  2. Oh my word, what a feat for the eyes! I bought a book from a charity shop recently featuring vintage photographs of famous gardeners at work in their gardens and Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst was amongst them. It looks just as beautiful today.
    You and Lynn both look a vision amongst those beautiful blooms! x

  3. Only France and Spain this time. Haven't been to England since i was avout 8!! So will have to remedy that one day and a meet up would be great then!

  4. Such a beautiful garden! Perfect place to visit. You and Lynn look beautiful. Great looks, ladies. Thank you for sharing this post with My Red Carpet.



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