Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

At the entrance to the garden rosemary bushes left to grow out of the boundaries of the allocated bed to spill over on to hard surfaces gives a feel of a mature garden/space which goes hand in hand with the mature architecture. Old York stone sits comfortably with the aged brick. The planters have some of the same colours as the rosemary showing unity of detail. Also the bedding plants. Nice simple colours don’t take from the lovely building entrance.The horizontal lines of the hedges and Pleach trees, both in harmony creates and ordered visual. It is quite striking. Rustic sculpture (feature) matches the old York stone in aged appearance and colour. View of the cottage garden for the tower. 

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The Cottage Garden: In this part of the garden the adjacent walls are continued on by Yew hedges as a containing device to control the viewers view not to lead  to far away. You are forced to look down and notice the planting. Again gaps in the hedges as in entrances and exits purposely cut great surprise  and a great sense of wonder. They lead us into the pleached lime walk. 

There is a very strong relationship between the Old Tudor style house and the garden in this space. This is mainly helped/created through the clever informal pathways that travel throughout. in the sketch it is clear that crazy paving is very random and not exact just lke the building itself also the random placed bricks in the path unify with the brickwork of the building.

Beside the door sits a grey wooden chair showing  unity of detail with the wooden door and frame. Both look like they dwell together like brother and sister sharing the same history. The planting is also very planned out but natural in apearance and bot overly formal and groomed.

The formal hedges around really emphasis the informality of this space.


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The Big Yews cut so perfect frame the random style of the house and climbing plants. Rustic planter unifies with soft planting. It is also old and weather worn like the door and house. The pathway draws the eye to the entrance. Very definite structural plants contrast with cottage style planting which make the cottage plants more obvious and interesting. Also straight lines linking up contrasting with the soft flowing ground cover planting. They contrast to emphasis each other. Straight hedge line draw the eye to the sculpture as the focal point.

Outside  the lime walk on the opposite  side of the hedge a simple bench helps blend the contrived gardens into the natural landscape. From the cottage a cutout gap in the hedge of simple line helps to give the space real drama. It’s hidden then the shodden reveal. There is a real wow factor. Hedges and paving unit to pack a real punch. There is depth in the strong definite use of line.

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Contrast is the key ti the hard and soft landscape features working in harmony. The soft landscaping of the hedges from the hard appearance and the hard stone bench creates the soft feature. These small details work greta. Unity of colour with the buildings bricks and and these roof tiles shows unity of detail at its best. Even a small piece of timber decking on grass leading to a pond/pool help the viewer know which direction to take or indicates this is a less formal space ahead. 

The Rose garden:
There is great simplicity of contrast between the grey stachys/Alchemilla mollis.The supports being using for the roses are natural branches nailed together and grey and aging just like the old york stone and brick steps. (Attention to detail) unity of detail. The use if symmetry is brilliant. The hedges all line up to carry the viewer through the space revealing hidden details such as mentioned above. There is a great feeling of balance due to symmetry also order add to the calmness of the space.

Entrances and Exits (Framing Views) One of the main feature (from start to finish ) that makes this garden so delightful and what makes it work so well the is use of soft and hard landscaping to create passageways and revealing entry and exit points. These add a great element of surprise all the way throughout the experience. It is found when you enter the garden in the archways of the buildings where the archway reveals the surrounding landscape like a picture frame framing a picture and in the garden itself hedges block and reveal different sections or frame focal points. A simple block shape hedge full of simple structural lines dramatise the loose foliage through the cutouts. (Entry and Exits) Revealed in the next garden room or space. The control of light also adds to this drama.

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 Sissinghurst is a great exercise in voids and mass and focal points. It shows great beauty and great contrast which was a key element to The Old Guinness brewery and Twyford Abbey design. It combines the informal and formal together with great success. 




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