The gatehouse tower to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, home to Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, serves as an entry point to this illustrated post placing Vita in context before a review of her final novel. Her presence is evident in lettered tiles set into a window sill on the turret stairs.
Continuing up the stairs …
… the visitor soon is able to enjoy the views of the garden ‘rooms’ set out by Vita and Harold:
Vita’s own private rooms in the tower are lined with books and art.
In the couple’s library, created from former stables, sits a 1909 portrait of Vita aged almost 17, though she actually disliked it enough to store it away during her lifetime.
The library is a conscious evocation of nearby Knole Park, where Vita was brought up.
To round off this mini-tour here are some views of the gardens in September this year.
The final shot is of an urn framed in an evergreen corridor, a view reminiscent perhaps of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst Castle Garden. National Trust (2018)
Vita Sackville-West, No Signposts in the Sea. Virago (1961)