With the continuing wet, snowy and cold weather I'm looking back to fairer times of last Summer and looking forward to some of the same soon
Beth Chatto (now elderly) planned a most beautiful garden in the North East corner of Essex. The story of the development of the garden over the last 60 years can be found below (taken from website)
The Beth Chatto Gardens began in 1960. From an overgrown wasteland of brambles, parched gravel and boggy ditches it has been transformed. Using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions, an inspirational, informal garden has developed.
About Beth Chatto
Beth Chatto was born in 1923 to enthusiastic gardening parents. After working as a teacher she married the late Andrew Chatto in 1943. His life long interest in the origins of plants influenced the development of the Gardens and our use of plants to this day.
Following Andrew’s retirement, in 1960 the Chatto family built their new home on a wasteland that had been part of the Chatto fruit farm. The site presented many difficulties for starting a garden including low annual rainfall. It was to Andrew’s plant research that they turned.
Informed by his knowledge Beth selected plants for a series of Gardens that could thrive under the different conditions. Through gifts of seeds and cuttings a large collection of unusual plants and a good knowledge of propagation was acquired. Since the late fifties Beth Chatto had become involved in the Flower Club movement, lecturing, opening new clubs and demonstrating flower arranging. By 1967 the Flower Club members were an enthusiastic audience for unusual plants. Requests for catalogues followed and from a small hand typed sheet a mail order business and plant nursery was born.
In January 1975 “Unusual Plants” exhibited at the RHS Hall, Westminster, winning a Silver Medal and gaining the first press coverage. From 1977 Beth Chatto and her stand of “Unusual Plants” went on to win ten consecutive Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea. Beth Chatto’s first book, The Dry Garden, was published in 1978. Since then she has gone on to publish eight books, has lectured around the world and written articles for magazines, newspapers and the Internet. Beth Chatto still works every day in The Beth Chatto Gardens, guiding her staff and sharing her deep love and profound knowledge of planting.
The result is a Dry Gravel Garden featured here in this post and later posts will show photos from the Water Garden, Scree Garden, Woodland Garden, Reservoir Garden
Such different styles and beauty to come in the following posts
Can you believe I took over 100 photos in one garden
Will bring you some of them soon