Still looking good in September - after all the rain this summer - is Sissinghurst Castle, former home of Vita Sackville West and one of the most visited properties in Britain. Also one of the most photographed gardens in the UK, especially the tower above. Sissinghurst isn't actually a castle, but rather a manor house with a tall tower. But the "Castle" has stuck and Harold Nicholson and his wife Vita were more than happy to inhabit this particular home. And we all know the adage: "An Englishman's home is his castle"!
Climb to the top of the tower on a clear September day and you'll have a better view of the garden than you'll ever get on the ground. Look out over the whole property from above and you'll see why Sissinghurst is famous for its garden "rooms".
|Bird's eye view of The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst|
Famous for its cottage garden (below) and fine views over the surrounding Kent countryside, the house is still lived in part time by Vita Sackville West's grandson, who's married to well-known garden writer - Sarah Raven, who has her own garden nearby.
|View of the Cottage Garden at Sissinghurst|
But the garden room that's most popular at Sissinghurst is the White Garden (below) - already a little blousy at this time of year, but a concept that's inspired gardeners worldwide. Close enough to Great Dixter to combine the two in a day and compare the two very different planting styles of Vita Sackville West and Christopher Lloyd.
|View of the White Garden from the top of the tower at Sissinghurst|
Climb the tower to get the most of Sissinghurst, although it can be a little busy. You'll get away from the crowds on the ground and enjoy a bird's eye view! Open five days a week from 10.30-17.30 (closed Wednesday and Thursday) although entry is a whopping £10.40 unless you're a National Trust member. With membership costing just £53 a year, you'd be well advised to join, so that you can wander through all their other celebrated garden properties including Hidcote Manor (£9.05), Mottisfont Abbey (£8.10), Nymans (£9.00), Polesden Lacey (£10.80) and Wakehurst Place (£12.00). One visit to each of these gardens and you've already paid your annual membership fee!
For more garden visits, click here