Friday, 29 March 2013

Beth Chatto's Garden Pt. 2

Now moving on from the gravel/dry garden into the more formal and water gardens
For those who questioned the dry garden in last post, 
Essex, my home county is known as the dryest county in England
Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that was a joke over this last year

Do check on Pt. 1 if you have not already done so where you will see some history of this outstanding garden which was the vision of Beth Chatto 60 years ago

Here we see Beth's home on the left
we will just walk around taking photos as we go

A taste of Summer to be remembered and looked forward to again
Still lots of photos to come of this enchanting place

Friday, 22 March 2013

Surprises and Grands and Ramblings

Surprise - the first item here has vanished
It was a short video of a 65 year old friend entertaining us at 
mid-week house church lying on the floor and doing push ups with hands and feet into the air horizontally and clapping with each leap in the air
It all started when someone decided to put their toes into their mouth and ask if anyone else could do it

and here is a reminder to check the weight and not just the picture when  ordering on-line groceries!! Almost 7 lbs.
I have started weekly on-line grocery shopping and on this my fifth order I obviously tried to be too quick!

Bekah getting ready to go out!
Did we ever do this aged 3 - don't think so

No surprise here
 Oliver and Bekah enjoying the pancakes that they helped make on Shrove Tuesday at home
Did this post weeks ago and forgot to publish it!!

Back to Beth Chatto's gardens next

Have a great weekend everyone
Snow, wind and hail here and very cold

In answer to those who queried the work of foxes in the garden - I think he/she/they were trying to dig a burrow in next doors dense undergrowth via. my hedge
the Heron continues to visit everyday (even though we have covered the pond with mesh) and has managed to catch all the toads and tadpoles as well as the fish
Possibly the continuing awful weather is having an effect on the local wildlife too

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Beth Chatto's Garden, Part 1

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

Monday, 11 March 2013

Unwelcome Visitors

I was able to venture out into the garden last Tuesday on what was forecast as "our one day of Spring' and it certainly was.
Since then it has been cold and very, very wet with this week bringing blizzards and biting North Easterly winds from Siberia.
There are icicles hanging from the garden shed and ice in the borders

Before getting to work in the garden it was obvious that some unwelcome visitors had been at work
Here we see the remains of a shrub scattered across the grass
Unwelcome visitor - Fox

and here some dead shrubs
unwelcome visitors - severe weather for too long 

and here broken Terracotta pots
unwelcome visitor - Ice
plus the Magpies's who have pulled out most of the ice-plants 

and here the pond minus about 70 fish
unwelcome visitor - the Heron that visits daily this time of year

However, no time to fret lots of work to be done on this one
 sunny and Spring like day
Not sure when I will be able to get out and do the masses of pruning that is still to be done  

Grateful for small mercies!
The blizzards were horizontal today

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Quayside Faversham Pt. 3

Faversham lies at the mouth of an inlet on the River Swale which flows into the Thames Estuary from the South side. We live on the North side.

A number of barges are moored at the quayside
Alan being an ex-Merchant Navy man takes an interest in any kind of boat

As always these days old warehouses are turned into various places to encourage the tourists to spend money
Here we have antique, Bric-a-Brac, art studio etc. with a small plant shop in the centre

The garden shop tearoom was OK but not sure about the 
Scarecrow at the entrance!