The weather forecast for today was warm and sunny and as many of the National Trust properties have just re-opened after the winter closure I decided it was a good day to visit Sissinghurst Castle, a place I have been trying to get to for a few years now!
Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is one of the more famous gardens in England and is grade I listed. It was designed by Vita Sackville-West in the 1930's. She grew up at Knole House in Kent and loved living there, but sadly when her father died, due to family inheritance laws it was bequeathed to her uncle. When she married Harold Nicolson they lived for a while at Long Barn where she designed the garden, and then when they moved on to Sissinghurst she copied many of the designs from Long Barn but on a much grander scale. I have visited Knole and Long Barn so Sissinghurst was the final one I needed to see. Vita lived there until her death in 1962 and it was taken over by the National Trust in 1967. It is still a working farm and descendants of the Nicolson family live there.
Vita Sackville-West was a woman ahead of her times, living in an 'open' marriage with Harold and had many affairs with people of both sexes, notably her decade long love affair with Virginia Woolf.
As I visited so early in the season there were many spring flowers but much of the garden is still being planted for the summer. The lunch in the café was superb, very inexpensive and with fresh vegetables from their garden. A good day out!