Vita Sackville-West

 WELCOME to the 2014 #AtoZ Blog Challenge

Inspired By My Pinterest Boards: This Year’s Category is GARDENING


Book Cover of Victoria Glendinning’s book: Vita-The Life of Vita Sackville-West

Should I mention Vita Sackville-West’s affair with Virginia Wolf and get it over with? There were others….none of which matters a wit to me….this endlessly fascinating woman who wanted to be remembered as a writer and poet. However, it is her fame as a gardener that endures. If you’re going to read one book about Vita, shedding light on  the famous people who filled her life, read Vita-The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Victoria Glendinning.  Vita knew everyone of her day…lunch with Churchill, Edward Lutyens (See the post for L)  She married Harold Nicholson; together they created the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle. (See the post for S)

I’m certain we would all be reading her garden columns today if she were still writing. She was in many ways the first modern media gardener, reaching a wide public through radio, and from 1946-1961 writing for the Observer. The columns earned her fans through practical gardening advice. Of the many books on my shelves about Vita and Sissinghurst, one in particular is precious to me. It is her novel, All Passion Spent published in 1931 by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. It was given to me by a book collector friend of my father’s who had no idea of my interest in Vita. Written in ink on the page opposite the cover is the name Virginia Thompson, 1932. I had an aunt with the same name…could this book have been hers? In the mystery of things, I believe it is possible. (There is a wonderful DVD movie of this book as well.)


Don’t miss inviting Vita Sackville-West into your life. If you are a gardener or not, she introduces you to the history of the period in which she lived that is SO interesting. (Writing tip….never write SO or VERY….do either make it MORE interesting?) Forgive me, I couldn’t help myself.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge -April 2014 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Vita Sackville-West

  1. A lovely post, Stephanie, thank you and with lots of interesting information about Vita. The novel you mention was a beautiful gift to receive.

  2. I remember reading about her during my college lit days.

  3. tara tyler says:

    definitely worth reading, we get most of our greatest advice from the past, if we’d only look!
    happy v day! only 4 left!

  4. Chrys Fey says:

    This was a nice post about Vita Sackville-West. I learned more about her here than anywhere else. 🙂

  5. Rebecca Douglass says:

    What an interesting theme–gardens and history together. Thanks for sharing!
    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

  6. Rhonda Parrish says:

    I didn’t know anything about this lady until I read this blog post. Thank you so very much for introducing me.


    What? I couldn’t resist, either :-p

  7. I always learn something new from your blog. I had only heard of Vita through her relationship with Virginia Wolf. I’ll look for the Glendinning biography. Thanks for sharing!

    BTW – I try to watch my use of SO VERY many adverbs in my novels, but for blogging, let’s relax and just visit, okay?

  8. Great blog – I read about this amazing woman a while back. Glad you will introduce her to others!

  9. alberta says:

    I love Sissinghurst gardens – one of the gardens I miss since I moved further north – ah well I have the memories – interesting post:)

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