Following on from Jo’s excellent article about the maintenance of the hedges at Sissinghurst, I thought I’d add a quick comment on the historical content. The hedges at Sissinghurst are of great significance, in that they along with the walls provide the rooms that we know so well. Without the hedges the garden would be very open, and would have an entirely different feel, as it did when Harold and Vita first made the garden. Soon after moving here in 1930 the hedges had been planted, but it would have been 10 years at least before the backbone of the garden was in place, and yet more years for the dense backdrop that they are now.
As amateur (but highly skilled and intuitive) gardeners, Harold and Vita would have had to learn many professional skills. The library at Sissinghurst contains many horticultural specialist books, including this one from 1959, seen on display in the tower.
What we’ll never know is whether this publication was acquired to improve knowledge, or whether the publisher was asking for a review and critique. Meanwhile the hedge cutting here continues…
Matt – Gardens & Estate manager