I never, ever use the word ‘magical’ to express myself, as it’s generally an unnecessary hyperbole with no relation to what it’s describing….BUT……..I might have to use it for my recent trip to Sissinghurst. In this instance, it’s entirely apt.
On a dreamy, hazy, sunny day, the place had a hush upon it that worked its way effortlessly into you, and as you wondered through wide stone arches, or slipped through tiny secret doors, it seemed that everything was trapped in one sublime moment of an eternal summer.
In the honey gold, late summer light, the flowers seemed somehow extra alive and the planting was so thoughtful, so sympathetic, vivid and vital, showing the art that only generations of care and toil can create.
The famous White Garden was absolutely everything I wanted to be. I had high expectations (of course) and they were absolutely surmounted, which is hardly a common experience in life.
There were the tall heads of white Agapanthus africanus, silky petalled Cosmos bipinnatus nodding above it’s frothy foliage, the punctuating spires of white Veronicastrum virginicum and the opulently frilled globes of Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabel’. Glimmering in shades of moonlight, pearl and snow, with the soft drone of bees and a slight breeze ribboning its way through the leaves, it was an ethereal spot.
I found the whole place impossible to photograph, as it’s tricky getting enough distance and detail at the same time, but suffice to say it had a charm over it that compelled us to linger, sitting in dappled shadows on a bench actually built into a Buxus hedge! (the place evidently called for very intense discussions too, as can be seen by the photo above.)
The garden had countless discoveries breathlessly waiting to reveal themselves to you, secret spots beckoning as you turned a little corner; the lush, deep mounds of rich green ferns in the Nuttery, the cool calm of the Lime Walk.
The Cottage Garden was overflowing with exuberance and burning with bright colour in the sun. Deep crimson Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ adding spiky, insect like detail, butter yellow spires of Verbascum olympicum, rising above oyster grey leaves of softest velvet. Banks of Dahlias in reds and oranges as brash and tempting as boiled sweets.
I would unreservedly recommend it.
Adults are £13.30, Children are £6.85
The garden is closed from 1st November to December 31st