A Perfect Partnership

Returning from my holiday, I was amazed at how much the garden at Sissinghurst had advanced in just a week. Spring is at the peak of perfection with magnolias and tulips basking in the sudden spring warmth and finally revealing the full glory of their flowers.

As I walked around looking at how each garden room had changed since I had last seen it, I was struck by the fact that at Sissinghurst, we are so lucky to have both big vistas and intimate tapestries of foliage and flowers that beckon us to take a closer look. Some gardens such as Stourhead and Rousham favour the big vistas and viewpoints whilst others such as Great Dixter favour complex planting schemes and intimate spaces. At Sissinghurst, we are able to experience both, thanks to the influences of its two creators; Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West.

Their unique partnership created a garden that is both classically formal and exuberantly romantic. The straight lines of the yew hedges, the classical viewpoints and the use of symmetry are all Harold’s influence, whilst the overflowing and bountiful flower beds, the detailed pots and troughs are Vita’s vision.

Together they formed the perfect partnership. Two very different styles creating the perfect whole…

Helen Champion

12 thoughts on “A Perfect Partnership

    • Hi Janna, thanks for your comments. I must admit that I felt the same last year when you were approaching summer and we were in autumn! It’s very odd living on the other side of the world but so nice to connect through a love of gardening.

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      • Aah, you are from Australia? Gardening has to be the hardest profession to cross the equator with. You start by adding 6 months to all your knowledge but find that even then it’s not quite right. As time goes on your mind subconsciously does the 6 month calculation, then you consciously do it and soon find yourself back where you started, unable to remember what was English knowledge and what was Australian. It is just so disorientating!

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  2. What a delight! My heart sings when I see your posts and photos. I have had the pleasure of visiting Sissinghurst gardens three times–once in spring and twice in the fall. I live in northern Louisiana in the southern United States and am creating a version of an English garden. When we were building brick walls four years ago I told the masons to wait I had the pictures to show them–many from Sissinghurst books and photos. We mixed mortar with a centuries old recipe to get an old look on our used brick. Roses are climbing and perennials and annuals blooming. I have a daffodil hill and will plant bluebells in my wooded area this fall. I will have to use Spanish bluebells for hardiness here. We are zone 8 and it is almost perfect here in spring, fall, and winter. Summer is HOT, 95-100 degrees in July and August. We just have to survive those months. Many thanks for your posts! Millicent McConnell

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    • Thank you Millicent for such lovely comments. Your garden sounds delightful and I think Vita would have felt honoured to have inspired so many gardeners over the years. Perhaps if you visit again, you could come in June to see the roses. They are a beautiful part of Sissinghurst. Helen

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    • Not many of us can achieve a Lime Walk but it’s great to be inspired by it and to create a little tapestry of bulbs in our own garden. I think pots of bulbs can achieve the same affect when placed together so this can be a good alternative too. Helen

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