Traveling to Sissinghurst on a Friday morning is no mean feat 3.5 hours of traffic mostly M25 chaos, in the hot sun too. The gardens of the National trust only open at 11am which seems late and odd as it's not a great time to see a garden, in the heat of the day but still there are clearly priorities to be observed and visitors are not top of the list.
It was disappointing to be 'informed' at the entry gate that no tripods were allowed due to the smallness of the gardens (?) and the vast number of visitors. I was also suggested I 'pop back' on Wednesday when the garden was closed - handy - then I could use the tripod. After a conversation with staff it turns out this might be a photography day but they weren't sure and it's not advertised by NT - nor is the fact that you can't use a tripod in the gardens. Frustrating but bearable if this was a 'house rule'. What made it annoying was seeing two other visitors with monstrous tripods perhaps they had special dispensation? who knows.
It was a nice garden but not that exciting floriferously. The usual suspects to be seen, roses, delphiniums, lupins, salvias, a few grasses. The white garden was 'over' with fairly gappy borders although several of the other areas, cottage and herb gardens, remained interesting. Of course the structure is there and some excellent specimen plants in mature and full glory but but but....hmmm a bit institutionalised? and one has to ask should the institution of the NT really be in charge of what used to be the playground of the elites of the Bloomsbury set?
The White Garden
Camomile seating in the herb garden - but under no circumstances sit on it!
It was calming and predictable I suppose typical of an NT property, although I must say I was surprised to be told, on one notice board, not to smell the flowers as it might cause damage? It seems these gardens are too popular for their own good and people are now in the habit of trampling them with tripod and boot to smell or photograph. Perhaps I went on a quiet day as I gather from http://www.gardenvisit.com/blog/2009/07/17/please-do-not-visit-sissinghurst-castle-garden/ that normally it is rammed.
I managed several good shots minus people so it must have been quiet!
No-one in sight!
I imagine if they opened, in summer, a little earlier and closed a little later they might have a less over-crowded garden.
off next to Dixter