Creating a Grecian garden

An artistic impression of the recreated Delos

This year, there's part of the garden that may look a little different when you visit. The gardening team at Sissinghurst are working on an exciting conservation project to re-imagine an area of the garden that was never completed by Vita and Harold.

Here you'll find the updates on the project to bring the influence of the Grecian island of Delos to the Kent countryside which inspired Vita and Harold to garden and write.

September update

We've placed 4,000 plants which make up the intial wave of planting. These initial plants include Tanacetum densum, Thymus capitatus and Achillea crithmifolia, which will line the scented paths.

The Planting mix is comprised of 50% ragstone gravel, 25% crushed brick and 25% poor quality topsoil which provides a low nutrient and free draining medium.

The central path of the garden will be made up of more formally dressed walls which echo the more urban areas of Delos island. As we move away from the centre, the garden's periphery becomes more natural and informal giving a different feel as you walk towards the garden edges.

Summer updates

Steady but significant progress has been this month. Completion of soil profiling and drainage was successfully achieved before a few days of heavy rain (50mm) in June halted progress.

Once conditions improved, we resumed with constructing sample panels of the three different types of wall—the agricultural  terracing walls, the formal dressed walls and the rustic walls. Dan Pearson visited at the end of June to agree the aesthetic of the walls, after which our contractor, continued work. Each hand picked piece has been carefully considered to fit in to its final place within its wall. The stone will create the layout and framework for the Mediterranean specimens which we’ll start planting in the coming months.


The layout of Delos starting to take shape at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The layout of Delos starting to take shape at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The layout of Delos starting to take shape at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The plants we will be using are those that are adapted to thrive in a Mediterranean climate. These adaptations include plants with hairy leaves, silver leaves, glossy shiny leaves, and swollen leaves.

Good drainage is critical, and to achieve this we are adding in excess of 300 tonnes of both 20mm and 40mm of drainage aggregate underneath a free draining formulated soil (made up of 50% aggregate, 25% crushed brick and 25% soil). We will also be using an 80mm deep layer of stone mulch. 
Work contines at pace, with the first large plants finding their homes in Delos at the end of the month.

Check back here for updates as the project progresses.