The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vita's Tower

The Rose Garden From the Top of the Tower

The Cottage Garden with Four Central Pillars. The Yew Walk in the Foreground

The White Garden and the Tower Lawn

The Entrance with the Main House to the Left and the Long Library to the Right

The Fireplace in Vita's Tower-Room

My favorite views at Sissinghurst, The Kent garden and home of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson, are from the tall tower. The tower was built in the 1560's was the center of the estate at that time. My first task upon reaching Sissinghurst was to climb the 78 stairs up the spiral staircase to the pinnacle of the turret to get a bird's eye view of the garden. It is a journey that would make Jimmy Stewart's character in Vertigo shutter.

Vita's study in the tower-room is on the second or third level. The tower-room is where she wrote her novels and poetry in the late hours of the evening after a full day of gardening. The corner fireplace was apparently never used. She preferred piling coats on her lap and to use an electric heater at her feet in bitter cold. Vita's lover, Virginia Woolf, was one of the few people allowed to enter the tower-room; even her children were forbidden. The room is exactly as she left it when she died in 1962, at the age of 70.


  1. Sissinghurst really is an enchanted - and enchanting - place.

  2. Hello Soren,
    Yes, Sissinghurst is enchanting. It is a true collaboration between a Vita and Harold. I could have stayed there all day! Nice to hear your comment. Thanks.

  3. What a lovely and impeccably maintained garden. Looks like the weather is holding for you Michael, enjoy the rest of your trip.

  4. Hi Paula,
    It is impeccable. Looking forward to bringing some of these ideas back to Peterborough.



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