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The White Garden

Articles: The White Garden

Silver, gray green, and white in the author’s white garden; from the top, Helichrysum petiolare, a whipcord Hebe, Cyclamen hederifolium, and candytuft (Iberis sempervirens). Photographs by Alison Mastri except as noted

[sidebar]I cannot help hoping that the great ghostly barn owl will sweep silently across a pale garden next summer, in the twilight, the pale garden that I am now planting under the first flakes of snow. It is magical.

Vita Sackville-West[/sidebar]

One could not help but be inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s White Garden at Sissinghurst—said to be more imitated than any other garden in the world. Enclosed by a tall hedge, this garden room is subdivided by low hedges defining beds filled with grey and silver leaves and white flowers billowing onto the paths.

First imagined in 1932, the second World War intervened, and it was not until 1960 that Vita’s garden was fully realized. Articles about the new garden appeared regularly in The Observer, and thousands of people followed its development. It was sometimes referred to as the gray garden, or the gray and silver garden. Vita wanted to c...


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