Sissinghurst's garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. Sackville-West was a writer on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group who found her greatest popularity in the weekly columns she contributed as gardening correspondent of The Observer, which incidentally—for she never touted it—made her own garden famous. Sissinghurst's garden is one of the best-loved in the whole of the United Kingdom, drawing visitors from all over the world. The garden itself is designed as a series of "rooms", each with a different character of colour and/or theme, the walls being high clipped hedges and many pink brick walls.
The site is ancient— "hurst" is the Saxon term for "an enclosed wood". A manorhouse with a three-armed moat was built here in the Middle Ages.The house was given a new brick gatehouse in the 1530s by Sir John Baker, one of Henry VIII's Privy Councillors, and hugely enlarged in the 1560s by his son Sir Richard Baker, when it became the centre of a 700-acre (2.8 km2) deer park. For Sackville-West, Sissinghurst and its garden rooms came to be a poignant and romantic substitute for Knole, reputedly the largest house in Britain, which as the only child of Lionel, the 3rd Lord Sackville she would have inherited had she been a male, but which had passed to her uncle as the male heir.