Adventures in Boots – Sissinghurt – August 2016

Adventures in Boots by Helen Reeley

On one of the few fine days we’ve had so far this summer I visited a ‘bogey’ garden of mine. A ‘bogey’ garden is an obvious garden you would’ve expected to see but have never quite around to bagging. The hawfinch is my bogey bird.

Sissinghurst is the garden I finally saw in all its glory and oh my days, it looked good. The white garden was splendiferous & despite the crowds, two coaches & a full car park…it didn’t seem overly packed out.

sissinghurst (640x421)

Vita Sackville West designed Sissinghurst Garden in the 30’s with her husband Harold. Vita’s ideas about garden design were haphazzard & chaotic but Harold’s were more rigid with classical preferences so between them they cobbled together a middle road with superb results.

The garden is designed around a number of rooms which all have a colour theme. We never got to see them all due to time restraints but the rooms we did see were all marvellously planted in colour groups. Hot planting with red, yellow & purple made up the display in one area & cool planting colours of pink, mauve, white made up the selection in another.

The garden being sectioned into rooms allows for a bit more shelter than you might have on an ordinary plot. I was surprised at the size of some of the plants, salvias especially.

As you would expect, The National Trust have done a sterling job with this flagship destination. All the trimmings including top end ice cream, well stocked gift & plant shop, were there to avail you of your hard earned. We took a picnic lunch in the camper van & made our own tea, plus we’re members so a reasonable day out for us but expect to be fleeced if you go with just a card.

As one of my favourite places in the whole wide world was just a short drive away, we drove to Dungeness when Sissinghurst closed. A shingle beach next to a power station? Yes, with one of the largest collections of native flora in the UK, fantastic light & Derek Jarman’s ‘Prospect Cottage’ to drool over. Plus, we pretty much had the place to ourselves for a few hours late on Sunday evening. As it faces east we’ve promised ourselves next time we go we’ll wake up to the sunrise show.

Go there before the Lydd Airport runway expansion plans

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