Welcome to the blog of the Sissinghurst gardeners. We are a team of eight gardeners and one student, who work at the historic gardens of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson in the 1930’s and now owned by the National Trust.

We are passionate about plants and love working in a historic garden where the emphasis is on both creativity and conservation. We want to share some of that passion with you and give you an insight into some of our work here. Each week, one of the gardeners will write a blog about an aspect of our work; perhaps looking at a new project or planting scheme or may be looking in greater detail at an area of the garden or a group of plants. We aim to make the blog both interesting and informative with new subjects being tackled each week. Our propagator, Emma will also be sharing some of her propagating secrets with you on a regular basis. She is responsible for growing both plants for the garden and the plant shop; a big job but an interesting one too. Occasional guest blogs will be written by both the vegetable garden team, who look after a two acre plot supplying produce to the restaurant and the Rangers, who look after the 450 acre Sissinghurst Estate. Their blogs will keep you updated on their work. We hope that you enjoy reading the blog. Please do comment on what has been written, we love to read your views and enjoy discussions about our work. Blogs are always better when people join in so please feel free to express your opinion. Helen (gardener)

For more information about Sissinghurst Castle Garden please look at our main website:  http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden/

A note about copyright: All photographs are the copyright of the National Trust/Sissinghurst Gardeners and should not be used for other purposes without permission. If you would like to use photos, please contact the Head Gardener, Troy Smith (troy.smith@nationaltrust.org.uk) or Helen Champion (Helen.champion@nationaltrust.org.uk). Many thanks.

22 thoughts on “About

  1. What is the name of the citrus like tree in The Cottage Garden, bearing hard green, furry, turban shaped fruits? It is near a tree I am presuming to be a Katsura as it smells of burnt sugar. Many thanks. H.


  2. I visited Sissinghurst Gardens a few days ago and was wondering if you could help me with the name of a plant. It was in the purple border in the front courtyard. Near to some alliums. It looks similar to the alliums but it is white and the individual flowers have berry red centres.

    Thank you!


  3. Long ago, I was struck by a planter in the cottage garden, close to the little house. It had a trailing habit, with bright green leaves and smallish bright orange flowers. Can you tell me its name?


    • Hi Georgina, I’m sorry about the late reply, I didn’t see your comment until recently. We think the plant you saw is probably Lotus berthelotii which does have small, bright orange flowers but the leaves are more a blue/green rather than bright green. Alternatively, it could be Osteospermum ‘Orange Symphony’ which is also similar to your description. Hope that gives you some possibilites. Helen


  4. Hi. Last week I visited the garden and I wanted to ask you the name of the “Helianthus annuus” in front of the South Cottage. It is a huge plant and the color is a dark orange. Thank you in advance. Eugenie


  5. Just had a wonderful visit to Sissinghurst and really loved the gardens. I think they are now my favourite of all the gardens I have visited so far. I was wondering though if you have problems with slugs and snails and, if so, how you deal with them. I saw no evidence of these pests in the gardens.
    Thank you


    • Hi Jill, yes we do have lots of problems with snails and slugs! Hostas, lupins and delphiniums are particularly vulnerable and we use organic slug pellets to keep control. However, it’s an uphill struggle and, like most gardeners, we are always on high alert! Helen


  6. Hi. I visited Sissinghurst last week as a birthday treat. We live in West Dorset so a long way from home! Such an atmospheric garden. I much admired the large pots in the first garden. Sumptuous dramatic colour with the deep pelagonium and purple salvia. Can you tell me please the variety of the different plants used. I would like to try pots like these next year. Regards. Lynne


    • Hi Lynne, sorry about the late reply. The pelargonium in the large pot is ‘Lord Bute’ and the salvia is ‘Amistad’. It may be a bit late to grow them this summer but hopefully you can find them next summer and create your own pot. Good luck! Helen


  7. Hi Troy, I am a garden design student, and I wondered if you had a plant list for the spring borders this year? After visiting last week, I am desperately trying to figure out whats what! 🙂 Many thanks, Connie connie.haigh@yahoo.com


  8. Hi. , I visited sissinghurst last weekend and would like to know the name of two plants in the white garden please- 1) the white shrub rose planted in groups of three /four in the box portioned borders. The buds were near red, but flower opened white tipped with red. 2) name of the White philadelphus growing by the house. Many thanks


  9. Hi, we’ve been wondering but can’t work it out – what is the tree on the grassed area in front of the castle, near the loos, which seems to flower on old wood, with the sappy green growth having much larger leaves than those on the older branches? It was in flower today, mid July.


  10. Hi, I’ve been to your beautiful gardens a few days ago and fell in love with some plants I have never seen before. They were like highish grasses (some to chest height) but with delicate flowers at the tips, in different colours. I can’t really remember where exactly they were but I think it was in the cottage and rose garden. Hope you can help me anyway! And thanks for creating such a wonderful place 🙂


  11. Hi,
    We visited Sissinghurst a couple of weeks ago and were absolutely knocked out by the stunning ‘wildflower’ beds in the Donkeys, which seemed to be based mainly on Coreopsis, with a subtle sprinkling of other species. Do you by any chance sell the seed mix, or alternatively could you let us know the recipe please, as we’d love to create a similar planting?


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