Friday, June 28, 2013

Sissinghurst - Part Two

I've kitted up a new Heart in Hand stitch. 
Someone asked via a comment, and yes, I carted over several pieces of linen and the charts and threads so that I could stitch during my stay here.
Now on with the travelogue... 
The history of Sissinghurst goes back centuries. A manor house with a three-armed moat was built there in the Middle Ages. By 1305, Sissinghurst was important enough that King Edward I came calling and spent a night. The house was given a new brick gatehouse in the 1530s by Sir John Baker, one of Henry VIII's Privy Councillors, and greatly enlarged in the 1560s by his son, Sir Richard Baker, when it became the center of a 700-acre deer park. In 1573, Queen Elizabeth I spent three nights at Sissinghurst.  It is thought that she probably climbed the tower to survey the impressive views of the Kentish countryside.

By the time Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholas purchased the property in the 1930s, it was derelict.  But Vita, the only child of Lionel, the third Lord Sackville, had grown up at Knole, the largest house in England, and she could see the potential of the property.

Certainly the views were enchanting.

Harold was in charge of the garden layout, while Vita handled the plant placement. It was a charge and a mission that would last for decades. 

The White Garden is probably the most famous of the garden rooms.

I had feared it might feel contrived and constrained.

Instead it is breath-takingly lovely.

The garden also entails several long beds of plants.

And it uses the warm brick walls to great effect.

Plant placement is everything.  It separates a great garden from a good garden. 

Sissinghurst takes advantage of every color of the rainbow.

It does not neglect trees and shrubs.

I suppose the over-riding color is green.

I found lots of plant combinations that I'd like to recreate (on a much smaller scale).

I can't even begin to narrow it down to a favorite color or hue.
I think I go gaga over bronzish-red...

and then this peony attacks me~

...and suddenly I am new best friends with pink!

Note the diagonal stripes on the lawn that play off the flower beds. 

Okay, I quite like blue too!

I just hope that once in a while Harold and Vita sat on a bench and enjoyed their garden.

The garden and surrounding acreage was perfect for an array of birds.  Anyone want to attempt to identify the top three birds and the bottom left? I know I have pictures of a chaffinch, blackbird, crow, goldfinch, wagtail, and robin.

Again I have to say what a wonderful place.  It was a great, if exhausting day out.  
As a result we had a quiet day today. I even took a nap!
Late this afternoon, we did go to the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum. Note the woman on the far left - she is sewing. Our sister in spirit.


cucki said...

Wow so beautiful xxx

Margaret said...

Ah, I think that's what the novel I was reading was called -- the White Garden! I might be wrong though. Lovely lovely pictures. What a gorgeous place! Glad you got to rest today. The museum exhibit looks interesting too.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

The flower combinations are so very beautiful - the variety of flowers and shades of each colour makes you realise, once again, how amazing nature is.

backporchcarver said...

I am enjoying your holiday so much, thanks for sharing. I look forward to your posts all the time.

Vickie said...

ooOoo! Wonderful! The pink plants are spectacular. ;)
I had wondered if you might nap here and there. You two are really taking in a LOT!

Barb said...

I hardly know what to say -just amazing!!

Angie Burrett said...
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Giovanna said...

Glad you got to see the Pompeii exhibition - I was looking at pictures of it on the BM web site some time ago, thinking how beautiful it must be. That's another great line-up of garden pictures. Knole... I've been there (again, decades ago...), it's another beautiful old house. But now I want to go to Sissinghurst :-)

Chris said...

So far my favorite place that you have visited. So gorgeous.

Wanda said...

Hi Beth, I am so enjoying your vacation! So beautiful!

Poppypatchwork said...

With regards to the birds, I call them "little brow jobs", I stole it from Bill Oddie, a English bird watcher.

Susan said...

I was immediately drawn to the reds and pinks. But that's not really a surprise as I have to make an effort to include other color families in my gardens. It's all just beautiful. The Pompeii exhibit looks amazing.

Annette-California said...

What a gorgeous garden you visited. I love all your photos. You should have heard me ouu and ahh at the ones of the colored blooms. Fantastic and Beautiful. I love all the colors:) love Annette
Pompeii exhibit - very amazing.

Maggee said...

Awesome garden and rooms! The colors are stunning! And I gotta ask--where do you find these charts? Most times the ones you stitch are ones I have never seen before then... Which of course, leads me on hunts! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

Melanie said...

So beautiful. Each garden is more beautiful than the last, seems like.

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

This garden is magnificent--thank you so much for sharing your great photos with us!