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Borrowing generously from Sackville-West’s own writings, Sarah Raven gives us a detailed look at the creation of the famous garden in Kent. Though bear in mind southeastern England is not Massachusetts, you’ll still want to keep a notebook handy to jot down all the plants you’ll want to add to your own garden.A perfect antidote for our horrible winter.
Dale— From Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville West and the Creation of a Garden
From 1946 to 1957, Vita Sackville-West, the British poet, bestselling author of All Passion Spent and maker of Sissinghurst, wrote a weekly column in the Observer depicting her life at Sissinghurst, showing her to be one of the most visionary horticulturalists of the twentieth-century. With wonderful additions by Sarah Raven, a famous British gardener in her own right who is married to Vita's grandson Adam Nicolson, 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 color 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. Sissinghurst is a magnificent portrait of a garden and a family.
“To pair contemporary garden writing with Sackville-West's classic sparklers takes confidence, experience, and audacity. Happily, Raven (The Cutting Garden), another gardener in the Sackville-West family (she's married to Vita's grandson), meets every challenge in this laudable book...The book is crammed with photos and quotes...The two voices remain distinct without clashing, and Raven's organization of the book and selections from Sackville-West's work buttress her own canny observations” —Publishers Weekly
“While Sissinghurst epitomizes the grandeur and luxuriance of estate gardening, it more importantly stands as a testament to the tenacity of literary Vita Sackville-West and her politician husband, Harold Nicolson. . . . Raven combines excerpts from Sackville-West's archives and weekly Observer columns with her own personal experiences of life at Sissinghurst to give a nearly plant-by-plant account of how this international treasure was created and maintained.” —Booklist
“Raven ably describes the beauty of Sissinghurst...Devoted gardeners will relish the lists of plants favored by Sackville-West, and those who dabble in gardening will learn that gardens aren't made in a day, a year or even a decade. Enjoyable for gardeners and lovers of quaint British landscapes.” —Kirkus