Vita Sackville West's Sissinghurst: The Creation of a Garden

Vita Sackville West's Sissinghurst: The Creation of a Garden

Hardback Virago Press

By (author) Vita Sackville-West, By (author) Sarah Raven

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  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 218mm x 42mm | 780g
  • Publication date: 6 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844088960
  • ISBN 13: 9781844088966
  • Illustrations note: 24pp colour photos + integrated b/w
  • Sales rank: 11,166

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

Dripping in gardening romance ... [Raven] delights in Vita's chatty writing ... Read it. You'll be delighted by its charm English Garden Full of evocative details ... elegant ... Raven's book also quietly reveals the more complicated story behind the apparent ease of inherited wealth Independent on Sunday [A] well-illustrated hommage, from an intimate perspective, to Vita and her gardening style ... [Raven's] assessment of Vita's achievement is respectful but not subservient. Her clear-eyed confidence is contagious. Spectator The exquisitely beautiful garden - now in the care of the National Trust - and Vita ... are wonderful candidates for books; together, they are doubly engaging ... Sarah Raven gives a vivid insight into the making of Sissinghurst House & Garden Sarah Raven has a unique knowledge and appreciation of the garden and its creator ... Her book paints a brilliant and captivating portrait of a great garden and its creators Lady Without doubt the seminal work on the creation of Sissinghurst ... delightful ... impossible to put down ... I cannot recommend it enough Garden Design Journal The line between cherishing the best of the past and celebrating the future is a fine one, but Raven treads it with exemplary energy and tact in this lovely book, with its delightful black-and-white archive photographs of Vita and Harold, and its ravishing colour plates of the garden in its glory Daily Mail A joy ... [Sarah Raven's book is] about beauty, enjoyment, celebration of making - everything that good gardening ought to be. Its atmosphere is as consoling as sun-warmed brick. It is fastidiously illustrated by beautiful photographs old and new. Raven believes, justifiably, that a dynamic past can instruct the present and her book is a bid to see that Vita's thinking is not stilled ... Best of all is the dashing abundance of plant ideas ... Sarah Raven proves a most graceful chaperone, chiming in, amplifying ... This book and Vita's ideas will inspire and, if you are even half a gardener, have you reaching for your gardening gloves with new purpose -- Kate Kellaway Observer