WELCOME to the 2014 #AtoZ Blog Challenge
Inspired By My Pinterest Boards: This Year’s Category is GARDENING
Last year I gave the first of a lecture series I am developing on famous English women gardeners. There was no better place to start than with Vita Sackville West (and her husband, Harold Nicholson) who together created the famous gardens at Sissinghurst.
Vita writes of her first sight of Sissinghurst Castle in 1930.(U-tube video) A castle in ruin in seven acres of muddy wilderness. Vita says, “There was no water or electricity; there was no single habitable room. The amount of old bedsteads, plough share, old cabbage-stalks, old broken down earth closets…should have sufficed to daunt anybody.” Nonetheless, the Nicolsons’ buy the ruins and the farm in the heart of the country, and within easy reach of London. During 1930-31 Vita and Harold traveled between London and Sissinghurst to supervise the clearing up. The redemption of Sissinghurst took the next five years of hard work. By 1938 the young and flourishing garden was open for charity, a garden made within the walls of a moated 16th century manor house. The gardens are now in the care of the National Trust. Millions of visitors have travelled to Sissinghurst; a restored jewel within easy reach from Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells. I visited Sissinghurst in 2000 on a garden tour. The spirit of Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson remain to this day. The gardens and the world of these two famous people are endlessly fascinating. Do get to know them. Recommending Sissinghurst Castle -Portrait of a Garden by Jane Brown for your enjoyment.