Gardeners cuttings from Sissinghurst Castle Garden

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The White Garden in July at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent

Vita was a great lover of the single toned garden and her legendary White Garden steals the show in July. Rosa mulliganii is in full bloom and the huge clusters of small white flowers tumble over the arbour at the centre of the garden.

The original R. mulliganii is beginning to struggle and no longer fills the arbour like it once did, so a few years ago we planted a second R. mulliganii opposite the original.  The new rose is beginning to fill the space and will soon return the arbour to its former glory.

Vita’s Thyme Lawns always struggled to establish in their heavy clay soil and it was a constant battle to keep them alive and healthy, so early this year we decided to make a permanent change. We replaced the heavy soil with a free draining mix and planted the Thyme densely around a pavement of York Stone. Vita wanted the Thyme Lawn to ‘look like a Persian carpet laid flat on the ground out of doors’.  I think she would approve.

As part of ongoing garden conservation work we have renovated the Purple Border, a bed

in the Rose Garden and the two beds in the white Garden either side of the Virgin. The exceptionally high rain fall in June has helped the new planting flourish in their first season.

At this time of year, rose deadheading is a daily activity.  Our dedicated team of volunteers take most of the strain and their work keeps the garden at its peak and encourages the roses to produce a second flush of flowers. Deadheading is time consuming but it can also be very relaxing and is certainly vital to the garden.

This month, much of our time will be taken up with hedge-cutting, which we try to get done before 11am when the garden opens. We will continue with the Box and Hornbeam, and once these are finished we’ll move on to the Yew.

The Hornbeam hedges are the only hedges that are cut twice a year.  We’ll cut them now and again in early spring.

July is also the time to reduce the leaves on the Irises and allow the sun to bake the rhizomes.  Some care now will encourage another dazzling display next year