Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst: The Creation of a Garden by Vita Sackville-West & Sarah Raven
Published by Virago
6th March 2014
From 1946 to 1957, Vita Sackville-West, the poet, bestselling author of All Passion Spent and maker of Sissinghurst, wrote a weekly column in the Observer describing her life at Sissinghurst, showing her to be one of the most visionary horticulturalists of the twentieth-century.
With wonderful additions by Sarah Raven, Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst draws on this extraordinary archive, revealing Vita's most loved flowers, as well as offering practical advice for gardeners. Often funny and completely accessibly written with colour and originality, it also describes details of the trials and tribulations of crafting a place of beauty and elegance.
Sissinghurst has gone on to become one of the most visited and inspirational gardens in the world and this marvellous book, illustrated with drawings and original photographs throughout, shows us how it was created and how gardeners everywhere can use some of the ideas from both Sarah Raven and Vita Sackville-West.
I have never been to Sissinghurst, now maintained by the National Trust, but now I've read this book by Vita Sackville-West and Sarah Raven, I'm desperate to go - if only it wasn't so far away from where I live! This book starts from when the Honourable Victoria Mary Sackville-West (better known as Vita) purchased Sissinghurst, right through to the present day and it's a magnificent tale of a beautiful garden.
It tells of Vita's vision, of how she chose to plant each species, and whether or not it worked the way in which she anticipated, and it's also a journey of the staff who helped her create this dream garden. It's not a photographic guide to the gardens, though I believe there are books like this available, but a sort-of memoir, a tale of how the gardens came to be, as well as being the story of the journey made by Vita and her husband Sir Harold Nicholson. It is the perfect story, of how to create the perfect garden!
Please note, these photos are not examples of those included within the book, but they are photos of Sissinghurst.