30 August 2016
THE WHITE GARDEN AT SISSINGHURST
How do you make such a garden? First, not everything is white. Grey and silver figure strongly, and as no plant flowers long there have to be assertive leaf forms as well. Second, there has to be a background, and the weathered red brick, old terracotta pots, statues, antique urns and oak furniture help a lot. Even better if you can arrange a foil of dark grey clouds. Third, you have to have a lot of money. Sissinghust was bought by the aristocratic Vita Sackville-West. As a woman, she didn't inherit, so she was rather strapped for cash. Sissinghurst was a ruin in 1930 and cost £12,000; Harold Nicolson reckoned it would take £15,000 to put in order. At current house prices that's about £115 million.
Posted by Marshall Colman