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Planting Schemes from Sissinghurst

Planting Schemes from Sissinghurst.
Tony Lord
Frances Lincoln
Publication Date: 

paper, 160 p., $19.95

Sissinghurst, the romantic and intimate garden created by poet and author Vita Sackville-West and her husband, diplomat Harold Nicholson, is one of the most influential horticultural sites in England today. Begun in the 1930s, it became the property of the National Trust in 1967 and has been under the care of dedicated professionals since then. Inspired by the traditions and genius of the place, the gardens have evolved over time though hard work, observation, criticism and redesign into a planting plan that is the envy of the gardening world.

Author Tony Lord provides close-up, color-photographic evidence of Sissinghurst's beautiful planting schemes in sections on spring bulb displays, climbers and shrubs for walls and frames, meadows and woodland ground cover, and roses. Although much of the chapter on color in beds and borders is devoted to the White Garden, which contains a renowned display of white foliage and flowering plants, there are plenty of pictures elsewhere of more challenging color schemes. Most useful is the site plan, which guides readers through the garden. Lord also notes the botanical names of plants, many of which, unfortunately, are not readily available on this side of the Atlantic.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, library volunteer and garden writer, Chicago Botanic Garden