Season 2018-2019

Sissinghurst Garden and its History

Sunday 11 November 2018 at 3 pm

Monique Wolak studied Garden and Landscape Architecture at Wageningen University & Research. There she combined the study of architecture with heritage research and environmental psychology. This combination stands at the base of all her work which centers around her own garden, landscape and heritage company. Listed gardens, parks and landscapes are the core of her projects. Her love for Britain, its people, landscape and gardens culminated from January 2014 onwards in the loveliest work she could imagine: working with the head gardener of National Trust’s Sissinghurst Castle Garden, one of the world’s most famous gardens. At the beginning of 2018 she has been asked by Professor Dr. Erik A. de Jong to work with him on a worldwide garden history project, which she now combines with her other work.

In the spring of 1930 Vita Sackville-West saw the property of Sissinghurst Castle, fell in love with it, bought it and made it her home and garden. And she did a fabulous job! This Arts & Crafts garden is now one of the most famous gardens in the world. It has a certain spell which moves people and continues to do so, although Vita is long gone. But her garden has been well tended for by several Head Gardeners, each of whom has put his or her stamp on it. This, and the fact that Sissinghurst became a National Trust garden in 1967, has resulted though, that the garden gradually drifted away from its original plan. Therefore Troy Scott Smith and Monique set up a seven year plan to ‘Revitalize Vita’.  Monique talks about Vita’s ideas and the development of the garden under the different head gardeners.

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