Sissinghurst : Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden

3.92 (112 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


From 1946 to 1957, Vita Sackville-West, the British poet, bestselling author of All Passion Spent and maker of Sissinghurst, wrote a weekly column in the Observer depicting her life at Sissinghurst, showing her to be one of the most visionary horticulturalists of the twentieth-century. With wonderful additions by Sarah Raven, a famous British gardener in her own right who is married to Vita's grandson Adam Nicolson, 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 color 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. Sissinghurst is a magnificent portrait of a garden and a family.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 382 pages
  • 149.86 x 218.44 x 40.64mm | 181.44g
  • New York
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1250060052
  • 9781250060051
  • 237,532

Review quote

"To pair contemporary garden writing with Sackville-West's classic sparklers takes confidence, experience, and audacity. Happily, Raven (The Cutting Garden), another gardener in the Sackville-West family (she's married to Vita's grandson), meets every challenge in this laudable book...The book is crammed with photos and quotes...The two voices remain distinct without clashing, and Raven's organization of the book and selections from Sackville-West's work buttress her own canny observations" --Publishers Weekly

"While Sissinghurst epitomizes the grandeur and luxuriance of estate gardening, it more importantly stands as a testament to the tenacity of literary Vita Sackville-West and her politician husband, Harold Nicolson. . . . Raven combines excerpts from Sackville-West's archives and weekly Observer columns with her own personal experiences of life at Sissinghurst to give a nearly plant-by-plant account of how this international treasure was created and maintained." --Booklist

"Raven ably describes the beauty of Sissinghurst...Devoted gardeners will relish the lists of plants favored by Sackville-West, and those who dabble in gardening will learn that gardens aren't made in a day, a year or even a decade. Enjoyable for gardeners and lovers of quaint British landscapes." --Kirkus
show more

About Vita Sackville-West

VITA SACKVILLE-WEST was born in 1892 in Kent. A distinguished critic, biographer, award-winning poet and gardener, she also 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.

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 cookbooks, as well as Wild Flowers and four gardening books, including The Cutting Garden. Sarah Raven is married to the writer Adam Nicolson and they have lived with their family at Sissinghurst.
show more

Rating details

112 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 26% (29)
4 47% (53)
3 21% (23)
2 6% (7)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X