From 1946 to 1957, Vita Sackville-West, the poet, bestselling author of All Passion Spent and maker of Sissinghurst, wrote a weekly column in the Observer describing her life at Sissinghurst, showing her to be one of the most visionary horticulturalists of the twentieth-century.
With wonderful additions by Sarah Raven, Vita Sackville-West's 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 colour 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.
Sarah Raven, writer, cook, broadcaster and teacher, runs cooking, flower arranging, growing and gardening courses at the school she set up in 1999 at her farm in East Sussex. She has written three cookery books, as well as Wild Flowers and four gardening books including The Cutting Garden. Sarah Raven is married to the writer Adam Nicolson and has lived with her family at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent. Vita Sackville-West was born in 1892 at Knole in Kent. A distinguished critic, biographer, award-winning poet, novelist and gardener, she published twelve novels, including All Passion Spent and The Edwardians. Her relationship with Virginia Woolf is celebrated in Woolf's novel, Orlando, and the story of her life with Harold Nicolson, one of the strangest and happiest love stories, was portrayed in Portrait of a Marriage by their son Nigel Nicolson. She died at Sissinghurst, aged seventy, in 1962.