A symbol of the greatest of passions: the Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The Classic Garden Elements Sissinghurst Pavilion is inspired by the original pavilion that stands in the White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden – a truly iconic and world-famous garden considered to be the finest example of modern British gardening.
Located in Kent, this magnificent five-acre garden was created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. Vita, a poet, novelist and self-taught gardener, was born in 1892 at Knole House in Kent. She was the only child of Victoria Sackville-West and Lionel Sackville-West, the third Baron Sackville. Vita loved Knole with every ounce of her being but, as a woman, she would never inherit it as it had to be passed down to a male heir. Devastatingly, she was to lose the stunning 365-room estate twice during her lifetime: once when it was passed down to her uncle, the male heir, and then again when it was given to the National Trust in 1946.
In 1913, Vita married Harold Nicolson, an author and diplomat, and moved away from Knole – but never lost her love for the property that she had always called home. Vita and Harold’s marriage was a happy one – although it was, of course, also quite unusual, since both of them had numerous same-sex love affairs during the years, of which the other was aware. Their marriage allowed them both the freedoms they desired and, at the same time, provided each of them with a solid base and a loving and dedicated partner.
In 1930, Vita and Harold bought Sissinghurst Castle. At the time, the property – including the garden – was nothing more than a ruin, and the couple then spent years transforming it into the world-famous garden it is today. When it came to planning and creating the garden, they worked as a true team, with Harold designing the architectural framework and layout of the walls, paths and various structures, and Vita then romantically filling the garden with as many flowers and plants as she could, until it overflowed with all kinds of gloriously scented blossom.
The result of their shared hard work is a garden that truly reflects both their love and their very different personalities. Despite boasting expansive views and stunning vistas, the garden is also private and intimate, and became something of a refuge for the unorthodox couple. The amount of love and energy that they poured into the garden is unbelievable. For Vita, the gardens at Sissinghurst became the emotional expression of her love for Knole and her sorrow at having lost it, as well as a reflection of her devotion to her husband Harold and the love she found for the many women she was involved with over the years.
The highlight of the property: the White Garden at Sissinghurst
The Sissinghurst Castle Garden is, of course, not just one garden. Rather, it is a series of ‘garden rooms’, each with its own unique design. The most famous of these garden rooms and the highlight of the entire property is the White Garden. It is here that Vita really left her mark and gave her passionate and sensuous nature free reign.
The White Garden is crammed full of flowers and is a truly magical, romantic space. In contrast to the white flowers, dark hedges create intimate and private spaces, whilst pathways invite you to explore the garden at your own pace. Vita was a promiscuous, passionate woman who loved fiercely – and loved many women, including Violet Trefusis, Virginia Woolf and her closest friend, Edith Lamont. The intimate, romantic design of the White Garden echoes these passionate love affairs, but it also reflects her love for her husband and for the garden itself.
However, despite the fact that Vita’s passionate nature is so visible in the White Garden, so too is her husband’s more practical and structured approach to garden design. The incredibly romantic and unusual garden thus mirrors the couple’s unique and rather complicated relationship through the coming together of contrasting elements, namely strict form and luxuriant planting.
The White Garden’s pavilion
At the heart of this garden, in which only the colours white, green, silver and grey can be seen, stands an exquisite rose-covered metal garden pavilion. The pavilion is a true masterpiece and the garden’s crowning glory, and it reflects the couple’s enduring love, uniting as it does Harold’s more practical nature and love of structure and Vita’s sensuality and love of abundance. The pavilion – like the entire garden – thus combines informality with formality in a truly eye-catching and enchanting manner.
The romance and sensuality of the garden is encapsulated in this spectacular pavilion. Covered in a mass of Rosa mulliganii – a rambling rose – it becomes an eye-catching focal point in this intimate white garden. During the summer months, the gorgeous rose engulfs the metal pavilion in a cascading mass of snow-white blossom and the most wonderfully intoxicating scent. But as well as its beautiful floral show, this rambling rose has yet one more surprise in store: in autumn, it captivates visitors to the garden once more by producing countless orange-red rose hips.
The Classic Garden Elements Sissinghurst Pavilion
The metal garden pavilion in the White Garden at Sissinghurst reflects a deeply passionate story. Inspired by this captivatingly beautiful rose-covered gazebo, we designed the Classic Garden Elements Sissinghurst Pavilion. This spectacular remake of the original structure is made of hot-dip-galvanised and powder-coated steel and can be ordered as standard in one of two colours: jet black (RAL 9005) or red brown (RAL 8012).
The reason we offer it in black is because that is the traditional colour for wrought-iron structures – but the decision to offer this wonderful wrought-iron gazebo in red brown is a little more complex. The original pavilion in the White Garden is not painted, but rather the metal is covered in a layer of red-brown rust protection primer. This colour cannot be exactly replicated with the powder-coating process, but the red-brown colour we suggest, RAL 8012, comes very close.
Of course, if you prefer, you can also order the gazebo in a different colour or size. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a bespoke order. With the Classic Garden Elements Sissinghurst Pavilion, you can bring a touch of the White Garden’s romantic charm to your own outside space and create a garden centrepiece to be proud of.