Spring has arrived
and with it, the reopening
of Sissinghurst Castle garden.
New this year is the invitation
to step inside Vita and Harold's cottage
seen here from the tower.
Vita wasn't allowed to inherit Knole
but Sissinghurst was regarded as an ancestral mansion
that had the blood of the Sackville dynasty pulsing through its veins.
Unfortunately it was mostly uninhabitable.
Harold wrote to Vita in April 1930 saying that it was
most unwise of them to get Sissinghurst.
'It cost us £12,000 to buy and will cost another good £15,000 to put in order.'
We were shown into what appeared to be the kitchen of South Cottage,
but in fact this was originally the flower room.
The kitchen was in an entirely separate building,
which made for some pretty
nippy commuting at meal times in winter.
Two bedrooms- his and hers.
Hers, curiously, having no wardrobe
and bare brick walls which she insisted upon
when she saw workmen beginning to apply plaster.
Harold's book room with some of his 3000 books
and their sitting room are all more or less originally furnished.
The bathroom was made comfortable by this nifty contrivance:
a bathrack with integral book rest, candle stick
and wine glass holder -
similar available on eBay should you wish to emulate.
Their son Nigel raised the bath onto a dais to take advantage of the view.
Nigel had the gazebo built overlooking the moat
and used it as his summer office.
The door was open while he worked and visitors' children
were given bread to feed to the birds on the moat.
I spotted Dan Pearson deep in conversation
with the head gardener Troy Scott Smith but despite lurking nearby
behind this statue, did not pick up any free gardening tips to pass on to you.