London has flower petals flowing through its veins and honors flora in every way imaginable. Flower shows, urban lavender gardens and events celebrating flowers are just part of it. There are scores of home gardens throughout the city with gorgeous wisteria, cherry blossom and Virginia Creeper that keep us coming back to gaze upon their beauty. But there also are many great gardens outside of London that are worth making the journey to see. One of those gardens is Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent.
Sissinghurst has an exciting history. This National Trust Property is a 450-acre estate that began life as a pig farm. The buildings on site were also used in the past as a prison and also as a poor house.
When the writer and garden designer Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson, bought the property in the early 1930s, it was in disrepair. They transformed the property into what is seen today. The property was taken into the National Trust’s ownership in 1967 and they have looked after the gardens ever since.
Highlights of Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden is comprised of a series of smaller gardens with different themes- herbs, roses, a lime walk, the orchard and nuttery, a moat walk and the tower lawn. Stone paths leading from garden to garden with the occasional bench should one want to sit and take in the all of the floral beauty there is to be seen.
The White Garden
The white garden was my favorite portion of the property because it whispered to my heart. I had planned on having a white garden at my home in Pennsylvania before moving overseas. It was an idea that I had come up with not long after purchasing our home when I had realized that nearly all of the flowers I love have creamy white and ivory versions that I am particularly drawn to.
This garden is where the influence of the horticulturist, garden designer and writer Gertrude Jeckyll can be seen. It was she who came up with the idea of using color themes in garden design.
It was indeed so inspiring to walk through this lush garden that felt so familiar to me if only in my mind.
The Cottage Garden
Bursting with the warm hues of red, orange and yellow, the colors used in the cottage garden call to mind a sunset crafted from blossoms.
Definitely the prettiest “sunset” I have ever seen!
Walking the 78 steps to the top of the 1560’s tower is worth it because there are some fascinating things to see and learn along the way.
In the 1750s, Sissinghurst was used to imprison lower-ranking French officers during the Seven Years’ War. Evidence has been left behind in the tower walls in the form of carvings.
Vita Sackville-West’s cozy, personal study is the ultimate work from home space, in my personal opinion!
And the birds eye perspective from the top of the tower is just lovely.
The Kitchen Garden
The kitchen garden was an absolute thing of beauty, and it incited a bit of jealousy in me! There was all manner of fruit and veg growing: squashes, beans, grapes and some of the largest raspberries that I have ever seen.
Even the orchard located off the back of the kitchen garden was inspiring. Trees laden with apples had me dreaming of autumn and thinking about all the recipes I could create with them.
Things To Do At Sissinghurst Castle Garden
In addition to taking in the glorious gardens at Sissinghurst, the grounds are worth wandering about, as well. There are trails to follow and pretty, peaceful lakes.
There is also a picnic area as well a cafe and restaurant on site. We had lunch in the restaurant; the food was nice.
Additionally, a collection of 11,000 books is on site making it the third-largest library that the National Trust tends to.
Tips For An Enjoyable Day At Sissinghurst
Getting to Sissinghurst Castle Garden by train from London isn’t difficult at all. Trains leave from London Victoria to Staplehurst every half hour, but it is highly recommended prebooking a car to go to and from Staplehurst train station to the property.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden is located at Biddenden Road, near Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2AB.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Sissinghurst Castle Garden and are inspired to seek out gardens whether traveling on holiday or just local to where you live. If you know any garden lovers, please share this post with them!
Have you visited any gardens that you really enjoyed? If so, share your experience with me below.
Thanks for reading! Cheers!