Sissinghurst gardener to speak at Writtle

Troy Scott Smith will speak about his first year in post at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent in the final talk in the James Hearsum Lecture Series at Writtle College on 6 May.


‘Revitalising Vita’, refers to the garden’s creator Vita Sackville-West, who transformed the garden with her husband, Harold Nicolson, in the 1930s.
Scott Smith said: "Sissinghurst Garden has long been renowned as a jewel in the National Trust’s crown. Over a number of years a combination of underfunding, increased wear and tear from greater visitor numbers plus extended opening, and a lack of change and renewal have resulted in a garden that is no longer at its best. Thinner planting and a degree of predictability have also crept into the garden as a result of the increasingly limited time for gardeners to actually do gardening.
"We want to recapture the distinctive qualities of Vita and Harold’s Sissinghurst, restoring the elements of romance, experimentation and exuberance that we have struggled to perpetuate in recent years. In doing this, our aim is to show that significant and historic gardens can be managed successfully while accommodating large scale visitor numbers."
This year’s James Hearsum Lecture Series was opened by landscape and garden designer Anthony Paul. The other speakers were Richard Barley, the new director of Kew Gardens’ Horticulture, Timothy Walker, director of Oxford Botanic Garden, and Wolfgang Bopp, the director of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire.
Brainchild of former horticulture student James Hearsum, the annual comprehensive, illustrated lecture series is now in its ninth year. Organised by Greg Allen, Senior Lecturer in Landscape Studies at the College with a team of first, second and third year students, all proceeds go to the Writtle College Students’ Union and are used to provide student travel bursaries to some of the most important gardens.
Troy’s lecture starts at 7.30pm in the Northumberland Lecture Theatre at the College. Tickets are on sale on the door at 7pm priced at £10 for visitors.

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