Vita Sackville-West was not only a prolific writer but she was also an amateur gardener who created one of the most famous gardens in England at her home at Sissinghurst Castle.
When Sackville-West wasn’t busy writing novels, she was also writing her long-running gardening column in the Observer and also wrote books about gardening.
The following is a list of Vita Sackville-West’s garden books:
(Disclaimer: This article contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
How Does Your Garden Grow
Published in 1935, How Does Your Garden Grow is a collaboration between four gardening writers: Beverley Nichols, Compton Mackenzie, Marion Cran and Vita Sackville-West.
The book covers topics such as garden designs, herbaceous borders, flowering shrubs, winter flowers and more.
The book is out of print but can sometimes be purchased second hand in used books stores or online on sites like AbeBooks.
Published in 1937, Some Flowers is a tribute to Vita Sackville-West’s favorite flowers.
The book is a selection of 25 flowers and describes their appearance, origins, characteristics and information on how to grow them.
In Your Garden
Published in 1951, In Your Garden is volume one of a four-part series of books that are actually a collection of Vita’s popular gardening column from the Observer, which ran from 1946 to 1961. This book covers the years 1946 to 1950.
In Your Garden is categorized by the time of year and gives valuable information on what gardeners should be doing in their garden during each season, such as pruning roses, taking rose cuttings, planting, deadheading and etc.
The four volume series of books discusses planting tips, common planting mistakes and offers Sackville-West’s views on the style of gardening that made the gardens at Sissinghurst Castle famous, such as planting a mass of one plant and one color in a defined area of garden, like she did with her famous white garden.
In Your Garden Again
Published in 1953, In Your Garden Again is volume two of the In Your Garden series of books and covers the years 1951 to 1953 of Sackville-West’s gardening column.
More For Your Garden
Published in 1955, More For Your Garden is volume three of the In Your Garden series of books and covers the years 1953 to 1955 of Sackville-West’s gardening column.
Even More For Your Garden
Published in 1958, Even More For Your Garden is the fourth and final volume of the In Your Garden series of books and covers the years 1955 to 1958 of Sackville-West’s gardening column.
Joy of Gardening: A Selection for Americans
Published in 1958, Joy of Gardening is a collection of Sackville-West’s essays about gardening arranged by season. The book provides observations, information and advice for gardening perennials.
The Illustrated Garden Book
Published in 1968, the Illustrated Garden Book is a compilation of essays from Sackville-West’s previously published books, In Your Garden, In Your Garden Again, More For Your Garden and Even More For Your Garden, along with additional essays and excerpts.
The book also contains illustrations and color photographs of Sackville-West’s award-winning gardens at Sissinghurst Castle.
Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a positive review, praising the beautiful illustrations and photos as well as Sackville-West’s writing:
“Her vivid prose and fresh insights into gardening make this book a delight for armchair and active gardeners alike.”
Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden
Published in 2014, Sissinghurst is a selection of essays from Vita’s gardening column in the Observer as well as some additional content from Sarah Raven.
The book discusses Vita’s favorite flowers, offers practical gardening advice and describes the trials and tribulations of creating a beautiful garden. It also features illustrations and original photographs from the famous garden at Sissinghurst.
The book received positive reviews when it was published. Publisher’s Weekly praised the writing, production and concept of the book, stating:
“Novelist Sackville-West (1892–1962) was also a gardener and wrote brilliantly on horticulture. To pair contemporary garden writing with Sackville-West’s classic sparklers takes confidence, experience, and audacity. Happily, Raven (The Cutting Garden), another gardener in the Sackville-West family (she’s married to Vita’s grandson), meets every challenge in this laudable book.”
The Guardian also praised the book, especially Vita’s writing:
“What is lovely about Vita’s writing is that she is not a know-it-all, nor officiously bossy as some garden writers are. She is relaxed, generous and playful, wanting to share delight while undeceived about slog….this book and Vita’s ideas will inspire and, if you are even half a gardener, have you reaching for your gardening gloves with new purpose.”
If you are interested in reading similar gardening books to the ones listed in this article, check out this review of the book Virginia Woolf’s Garden.
“The Illustrated Garden Book: A New Anthology by Robin Lane Fox.” Publisher’s Weekly, publishersweekly.com/978-0-689-11844-9
“Sissinghurst: Vita Sackville-West and the Creation of a Garden.” Publisher’s Weekly, publishersweekly.com/978-1-250-06005-1
Kellaway, Kate. “Vita Sackville-West’s Sissinghurst review – a wealth of inspiration for gardeners.” The Guardian, 9 March. 2014, theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/09/vita-sackville-west-sissinghurst-review-raven-gardening