Thursday, August 30, 2007

Summer at Sissinghurst

At the end of July I visited the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle - one of the most noted gardens for flowers in England. After all the rain we've had this summer, the Cottage Garden and the White Garden were both quite spectacular.
One of the world's most celebrated gardens, the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson. Developed around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion. A series of small, enclosed compartments, intimate in scale and romantic in atmosphere, provide outstanding design and colour through the seasons. (National Trust)
For those who have not visited before - a couple of warnings.
  • The gardens are both intimate and 'full on' and swamp you with images.
  • It can be very difficult if not impossible to find somewhere to sit when the gardens are open to the public.
The combination of scale and the number of visitors (it has to have timed entrance arrangements) and the total lack of scope for bringing in a chair and/or easel means that it is far from easy to either create a good composition or get much work done while the garden is open to the public.

However there is a solution!

I've now got the the phone number to contact the Sissinghurst Office so that I can arrange to go back on one of the days they are not open to the public. Apparently, on Wednesdays, they are now taking bookings for up to six artists to draw/paint the gardens. You can also use their e-mail address which is on the National Trust website.

Sweet Peas and Red Hot Pokers, Cottage Garden, Sissinghurst
11" x 8", pen and ink and coloured pencil in Daler Rowney sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've included two very quick sketches. I was incredibly fortunate and managed to 'bag' "Harold Nicholson's chair" which sits outside the door to the cottage in the Cottage Garden for the first one.

The second sketch was done in the White Garden just before the gardens closed - which is an idyllic time to be in the gardens. The white rose over the central pergola had finished flowering but the rest of the garden was in bloom - but the best positions to draw or paint this can only be taken up when the public are absent.

The statue under the tree, White Garden, Sissinghurst
11" x 8", pen and ink and coloured pencil in Daler Rowney sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

  1. This was a joint post in support of both the Flowers in Art (July 2007) and Gardens in Art (August 2007) projects on Making A Mark - both of which have associated squidoo lenses.
  2. Similar content previously appeared in a slightly different format on Making A Mark in early August. I've also posted about Sissinghurst before on making A Mark and these posts will also be transferred to this blog so I can create summaries of posts by area. I've included the links to the original posts below as well as details about the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Umm, I do like the red hot pokers one. Your marks are so calligraphic and lively.


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