Sissinghurst Castle Garden is the 20th century creation of two English aristocrats, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, set in unspoilt Wealden countryside
The Elizabethan building was derelict when the couple first set eyes on it in 1930 and their restoration of the property, with its fairytale watchtower as well as its glorious garden, is the stuff of legend. To this day Sissinghurst Castle Garden remains one of the most famous in the country and the epitome of an English garden. Designed with different verdant “rooms”, it opened to the public in the late 1930s, with an admission fee of one shilling (hence Vita’s name for visitors – shillingses).
It has been said that Sissinghurst’s success lies in the creative tension between Harold’s formal design and Vita’s lavish planting. Perhaps oddly, to more conventional minds, the couple’s union was a happy one in many respects, despite affairs on both sides. Today, Sissinghurst’s colour schemes, different garden “rooms” and rich herbaceous borders make it the epitome of an English country garden.