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A Visit To Beth Chatto's Wonderful Garden in Elmstead Market,Essex.

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Another lovely visit to these fantastic gardens today (Saturday 3rd) Our only other visit was in April 2010.I remember it well….we went on our way back from a weekend in Norfolk which looked for a while that it may not happen.On the previous Sunday, I wound up in hospital on a drip for four days/ three nights (I only came out at 8.30 on the Wednesday evening and we travelled to Norfolk the next day) Some of you may remember, I developed all sorts of problems after a minute particle of a Pyracanth (or maybe Blackthorn) thorn remained (unbeknown to me at the time) in my knee from the previous year.Basically,I had to be on IV antibiotics and have the offending article cut out and my knee drained off. I hadn’t taken it too seriously when it kept swelling up but, the nurses/doctors soon put me right and told me it would have been a lot more serious if it had been left any longer. When I told the nurse in AandE that I was going away on the Thursday so didn’t want a hospital stay she told me that if the infection was left any longer, I would have Septicemia and then “You won’t be going anywhere” That changed my view slightly!!
Anyway, I digress ! Our visit was in the springtime so its interesting to see how the garden varied from that visit to this(in the Autumn…3rd Oct)
Here are just a few photos from APRIL 2010 ;


This picture is for Dawn… (Threepenny bit).Frittilaria Crown Imperial..a nice big clump

The next few pics are similar positions/subjects to those, but taken five and half years on (3rd Oct 2015)

And, now some more of Saturday’s (3/10/15) photos


Thalia dealbata


Cornus Controversa Variegata ‘Wedding Cake Tree’


Geranium Rozanne


Molinia Caerulea Zuneigung


Hydrangea Villosa (from Great dixter….according to the label)

I’m not a great fan of cats as I’m highly allergic but this was a very pretty little fella(or maybe lady) and friendly, too! So I gave him/her a quick fuss then escaped before the itchy eyes and wheezing started!


I assume some kind of Orchid but no label !


Switchgrass (A Pannicum, very similar to a variety I have planted in my garden…but this was huge so I hope mine was labelled correctly)


Now,seeing this Calamagrostis Brachytricha has made me realise I have probably identified one of my grasses incorrectly, in a blog a couple of weeks ago. I brought it with me in a pot from the old garden and always assumed it was a Pennisetum Alpecuroides (maybe ‘Hamelin’) but, when going through my labels of plants that I brought with me, I came across one for C.Brachytricha and assumed it was , therefore, called that.But, it definitely isn’t the same as this plant at Beth Chatto’s so, the mystery goes on…..(why would I have a label for a plant I never had? Strange)


Colchium Rosy Dawn


I absolutely love Toad lily(Tichrytis…excuse spelling) I had some in my old garden although, they eventually got swamped by other plants.
I must get some,next year, for the shadier border down near the house.


And, now to the nursery but, on the way, I saw these;


Actaea Simplex ‘Pink Spike’
and, wouldnt you know it, they were available to purchase in the nursery! They are happy in part shade, moist soil,grow to approx 65 inches high and attract bees and butterflies with their fragrance…..Ideal for planting at the back of what will be my new semi circular bed to be dug next year! Sold to the man with the Pirate hair do!!


Whilst in the nursery,I also noticed some Bronze Fennel in the reduced section…….What a bargain for only £2.Now, as some of you may remember from my Merriments garden blog, I had planned to have one in one of my beds but Julie wasnt keen as Fennel can get a bit tatty looking towards the end of the summer so I compromised and bought a Eupatorium Capillifolium instead.But, the jury is out on that one as I did some research after purchasing and it seems it can be invasive.Also, now it is growing, and, boy is it growing, I’m not convinced it’s what I want so it may be replaced next year but not with Bronze Fennel as the boss(Julie) isnt keen and it is near the back door. But, as luck would have it, Julie visited the ladies’ and then the shop, whilst I was left alone in the nursery. And, guess what…….yes, that naughty fennel jumped into my hand!
But, I have planted it behind the greenhouse, near the back fence, where it will still get a fair bit of sun and will hopefully attract pollenators for my veg patch which is just feet away.
Here it is and the Actaea, both planted with plenty of grit in the hole as our soil is heavy and stays quite wet.


I took loads of photos at Beth Chatto’s but, too many for one blog so I shall write another blog in a few days and add more photos including more of the dry garden which I just teased you with at the top of this blog .
Happy gardening
Paul

More blog posts by paulspatch

Previous post: The First Autumn In My New Garden...everything's working hard!

Next post: Beth Chatto Garden Visit Part 2.....The Dry Garden And More



Comments

 

Thanks for an amazing tour!

4 Oct, 2015

 

Yes, thanks for the tour Paul. There is something special about Beth Chatto's garden. It is huge and impressive of course, but also quite domestic an friendly in some way and that makes it very accessible and inspiring for those of us with normal sized gardens. I love it. I hope I will be able to go there myself one day :)

4 Oct, 2015

 

Fantastic tour Paul and thank you for the Frittilaria picture stunning hope mine gets like that wonder what kind of soil they are planted in. So many plants I like on this blog I shall have to look for a bigger garden. Typicle pirate teasing us😁 so glad you bought that fennel.

4 Oct, 2015

 

What an amazing set of photos Paul.....beautiful. Your story about your leg is a lesson to us all......frightening.

4 Oct, 2015

 

Yes. You do not need to play the part of a pirate with a REAL peg leg. A wonderful visit, thank you for sharing it!

4 Oct, 2015

 

You're right, Karen.......I've said this since I first visited, this garden , although large ,it has the feel of someone's private garden(which it was originally) .
Many Thousands of plants, I should think , Dawn. And the nursery is bigger than most I've seen at open gardens.
Linda and Loosestrife, the talk about my leg has reminded me of something funny that happened whilst I was in hospital. Well, one of the young nurses thought it was hilarious.
Julie came to visit and brought me an Amateur Gardening magazine over.When she was gone I started reading it and one of the first things I came across was an item about a gardener who'd had a rose thorn in his finger and ignored it and ended up having his arm amputated.Not funny, really but the nurse thought it was funny that Julie had brought it to me in my current predicament. She kept asking me to show the article to people.

4 Oct, 2015

 

LOL!! A peg leg and a hook for a hand! Now all we need is a thorn in the eye for a patch. I can see some parent's child asking "Is that a pirate?" and they answer..." No, that's a gardener!". Pardon the black humor..... Brings to mind I was at a scientific convention long ago sitting at a table with others who were attending waiting to be served lunch when someone sitting next to me mentioned that one could always tell which ones at the table were the chemists..."they're the ones with the missing fingers and hands"

5 Oct, 2015

 

A real sense of peace comes from this blog. What a truly beautiful garden whatever the season.

5 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks for sharing your visits Paul, it was good to see the garden during the two seasons...My dad grew fennel in his garden for many years, I remember it did go on the rampage but dad thought it was marvellous and woe betide anybody who ever suggested tidying it up, crafty move hiding it behind the greenhouse, Julie will never notice, my hubby thinks he's the boss this year because he has been caring for the lawns whilst I have been out of sorts, he keeps suggesting ways to make the garden easier to manage which of course I am fully in agreement as long as he doesn't actually change anything, its still mine and I fully intend carrying on for many years to come, lol....

5 Oct, 2015

 

It's is a lovely, peaceful place to meander around Wildrose!

Loosestrife.....I obviously have two very well co ordinating careers.I could've seamlessly slipped from gardener to Pirate without anyone noticing!!! But, it may have been a bit more difficult for the parents to explain the peg leg and hook in December when I don the read and white outfit Hoe Hoe Hoe (see what I did there???)

5 Oct, 2015

 

I'm sure you will reassert yourself as head gardener Lincs..lol ........and let's hope that's very soon!
With the fennel just like lavender it's one of those plants I love to have just to walk past and squeeze the foliage and smell. I don't have lavender here but next door do outside the front door so I give it a squeeze when passing!!

5 Oct, 2015

 

Really enjoyed your photo tour Paul ! and your leg misshap is a warning to all us gardeners to be careful with thorny plants ...

5 Oct, 2015

 

A lovely place,Paul,and wonderful photo's..I have seen programmes about it,but it must be lovely to actually visit..and Beth Chatto certainly had a vision,didn't she? Has Julie noticed the Fennel yet? lol

5 Oct, 2015

 

A super tour as usual Paul with an excellent guide. The photos are a good accompanyment. The incident with the thorn was a close run thing, hope you've learned your lesson.

5 Oct, 2015

 

ha ha....yes the thorn, Kidsgran and Waddy ...I am paranoid about splinters and thorns these days,after that incident.I try to remove items from my hands and legs that arent actually there sometimes!
yes, I told Julie where the fennel is Bloomer but she didnt go and look....I think the look she gave me was 'disdain' ha ha.......she'll get over it.With regards to 'vision' I said to Julie as we waled round on saturday, i can see small plans and schemes that I want to execute but, i really dont see how people can have a vision on such a large scale.it's incredible how they can see it in thier minds.
I remeber saying the same about Sheffield park ( a Capability Brown landscape)...I just cant see it but, thats why they were professional garden designers and I'm a Pirate!!!

5 Oct, 2015

 

I know what you mean,Paul,neither can I ! and we visited sheffield park ,when we stayed in Eastbourne,and how someone can plant trees,that wouldn't reach their full potential for years,is beyond me..but yet,they look so right,don't they?

5 Oct, 2015

 

Yes, you either have that sort of vision or you don't and, I'm afraid I'm in the latter camp!!
One thing that I think is fantastic at places like Sheffield Park, is the refelctions of the trees in the water!!

5 Oct, 2015

 

Lovely blog Paul. Thanks for posting these fantastic pictures. I am strongly allergic to cats also.

6 Oct, 2015

 

Thank you for a super blog, Paul, & a wonderful tour of Beths garden.
It took me back to when I last visited which must be more than 10yrs ago (hard to believe). Somehow tho it looks the same yet different, the trees are still magnificent, the borders are still gorgeous & the walkways are always inviting you to look round the corner.
I remember I found the gravel gardens fascinating & as has been said already what amazing vision she has especially when you see the site she started with back in 1960.
I read that there are only 3 gardeners in the team that look after it.
That Actaea looks interesting & I'm glad you got your fennel.

6 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks Klahanie and Greenfinger.
I must say, Greenfinger, I wasn't particulalry impressed with the dry garden last time...I thought it was a bit tatty but much better this time.
Yes, cats make me very ill, unfortunately Klahanie.

6 Oct, 2015

 

That is a salutary tale about the thorn. I have 2 Pyracantha and am always digging out splinters from my fingers. They do go in deep.
On a happier note I do like the garden blog.

6 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks Siris. Yes, the doctor showed me.....it was the tiniest spec.....not much bigger than dust!

6 Oct, 2015

 

You were lucky in the end. Not put you off gardening then!

6 Oct, 2015

 

Ha ha......no. But, still don't wear gloves much and always getting bits in my hand.
This one was in my knee but it went through my knee pad.

7 Oct, 2015

 

I enjoyed walking round this garden with you ... so many lovely plants to see.

8 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks Shirley....... The other photos are up now in part 2 blog.

8 Oct, 2015

 

What a glorious garden! I am glad you bought the Bronze Fennel, although it obviously didn't give you much choice, leaping out on you like that! I have one in my herb bed. I love it, and use the foliage chopped up in mixed herbs. The smell is wonderful! I have heard that it can be invasive, but have never had a problem with it.

9 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks, Melchi...
I had a huge green one (Fennel ) at the other garden ....it was about 10 feet high and five feet across but, I had plenty of room there. These don't grow nearly so big. I think they probably seed quite a lot although, whether it will in my heavy clay, I'm not sure,

9 Oct, 2015

 

Time will tell, Paul! The soil here is extremely light and sandy.

10 Oct, 2015

 

Every time I look at your pics I see something I didn't notice b4. Do you know what is growing up the tree in the 26th pic, Pau, also 11th from bottoml?

10 Oct, 2015

 

I'm pretty sure it was a Virginia creeper GF and the shrub in picture 11 from bottom is Melianthus major.

10 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks, Paul, it looks very effective on the tree, mine is brilliant red now too.
The Melianthus is a new one for me, looked it up & it says hardiness -6 & it needs a hot summer to flower, I wonder if I could grow it here, I love the leaf pattern.

10 Oct, 2015

 

I would think it would survive Suffolk winters as long as it's given a bit of protection (maybe straw or leaf mulch ) if there are regular frosts .But, If only occasional frosts, I'm sure it'll be ok......doesn't want to sit in sit cold, wet soil though!!

10 Oct, 2015

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