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Meeting Beth Chatto: June 2012

42 comments


When I did a City & Guilds course in Garden Design a few years ago, I got friendly with 3 other keen gardeners who live not too far away. We keep in touch, and cook lunch for each other every 3 months. In the current 12-month period, we each have a special “zero” birthday to celebrate, and this month when the 50-year old offered to drive us all to Beth Chatto’s Gardens – we didn’t need any persuading! The drive took an hour and a half, and we headed for the coffee shop on arrival. Our outdoor table was right next to the great lady’s little house, and just as we settled down to our toasted teacakes, guess who emerged from her garden! Walking on 2 sticks (she is 89 this year), but looking as spry as ever, she politely said “Good morning” to us, and then went to have a look at her nursery. It was a lovely sunny day, so perhaps she was glad of the chance to be outside. We felt lucky too, as it was perfect weather for our stroll, and I hope you can get some idea from my not-very-good photos of how beautiful her gardens are.

This is the first view of the garden as you walk in.


An old rowing boat on one of the lakes, with BC’s house in the background.

She evidently loves Hostas and ornamental grasses.

Maybe because of the sudden change in the weather, there were very few other visitors.

Lovely and quiet!

We thought this Hydrangea petiolaris trained around the trunk of the tree was a great idea

Salvia

Something has amused my friends . . .

. . . oh, an abandoned wheelbarrow; must be tea-break time!


Love this almost cloud-pruned tree

Libertia – one of my favourites

Verbascum (not falling over as they often do)

Attractively planted raised beds.

Who knew Buddleia could be trained against a wall?!

Buddleia Crispa apparently

And lastly, the pots on Beth Chatto’s private patio.

I didn’t take any pictures of the nursery, so perhaps I had my hands full(?!). Hope you’ve enjoyed the tour, and will be able to visit these gardens for yourselves one day. Highly recommended :))

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Comments

 

What a beautiful garden, thank you sheila, i would never have got to see this otherwise, lovely pictures and how brilliant to meet the lady herself!!

17 Jun, 2012

 

Nothing wrong with those photo's Sheila...It looks beautiful as expected....I can picture myself floating in that boat, anice bottle of wine secured with a piece of string cooling in the water..bliss

The Buddleia Crispa is a suprise...I tollerate my Buddleia just having them in a corner for butterfly's...Maybe I should try something like this. :)

17 Jun, 2012

 

Hello Sticki..Are you home?

17 Jun, 2012

 

great pics SB what a lovely garden and thats a novel way to grow a buddleia might even give it a go .Thanks for the tour it was wonderful :)))

17 Jun, 2012

 

The most beautiful garden I've ever visited. Highly recommend a visit there:)
Thank you for sharing:)

17 Jun, 2012

 

hello pimms, yes just back today!!

17 Jun, 2012

 

Wonderful Sheila. Great photos, and the garden - well who wouldnt love a park for a garden. Loved it thank you.

17 Jun, 2012

 

I hope you had a good holiday..and Sheila, how was the open day?

17 Jun, 2012

 

Obviously a wonderful day for you Shielabub and to get to see the great lady herself must have been the icing on the cake.
I just loved that Buddleia, what a great way to grow it as they can be so unruly.

17 Jun, 2012

 

yes thank you, will take a bit of time to sort the photos for a blog [took too many!]

17 Jun, 2012

 

Exceptional photos,Sheila......what a day it must have been for you......Great to have been driven also.

17 Jun, 2012

 

Thanks very much everyone, for your generous comments. :)) Sending you a PM, Pimm's!

17 Jun, 2012

 

Oh, Sheila, that is just perfect! How I envy you. Like everyone else, I think the buddleia is great, but I am SO impressed with that huge hosta!
Thank you so much for sharing!

17 Jun, 2012

 

Thanks for that, Sheilabub! What a fabulous garden! The verbascums are to die for - just love them!

17 Jun, 2012

 

What a wonderful place and a great day out,Sheila..you were lucky to see that wonderful lady..what an inspiration she is,and has been, to create that garden..thank you for sharing your visit with us..just love it all :o)

17 Jun, 2012

 

Hi Gattina, Mel and Bloomer - thank you for joining me! Yes, I'm a lucky "girl" :))

17 Jun, 2012

 

Fantastic pics, what an idyllic garden xxx

17 Jun, 2012

 

Lucky you to meet the 'great lady.' Lovely garden - very 'manicured.' But then you've seen my garden, so I suppose I would say Beth Chatto's is tidy!

18 Jun, 2012

 

What a beautiful garden Sheila and how lovely to be driven there for a special day out. I love all aspects and the huge borders, great vistas and that Hydrangea climbing up a tree, i got rid of mine because it was doing nothing leaning agaianst the fence, but this is a great idea, just need to plant a tree now!!! and the icing on the cake meeting Ms. Chatto. Wonderful

18 Jun, 2012

 

What a lovely day you had Sheila...and I loved the way you described it for us...your enjoyment shines through the words on the page. 89 eh? and still sprightly and cheerful...well, I think that's a great endorsement for gardening and an encouragement to us all! :D

18 Jun, 2012

 

Aaawww, thank you so much Gill and Karen. :)))

18 Jun, 2012

 

well written sheila and glad you enjoyed your visit, pics are fab and i would love to see her garden, love the boat on the pond :o)))

18 Jun, 2012

 

Thank you San!

18 Jun, 2012

 

A wonderful blog Sheila, in my favs

22 Jun, 2012

 

Gosh, thank you Annella :))

22 Jun, 2012

 

thanks Sheila...and thanks to Marianne for making sure I saw this blog. Wonderful...I loved the verbascums!!!! gave me an idea for the V's in my garden. (the pebble mulch). This is fav. material...will refer to this blog again!

22 Jun, 2012

 

Oooh thanks Lori . . . don't think I know Marianne, will have a look for her!

22 Jun, 2012

 

I have always wanted to visit this nursery being an ardent fan of the great lady, thanks for taking me there, inspiring isn't it? superb photos and some very novel ideas.

22 Jun, 2012

 

Fabulous. Mustn't it be a wonderful feeling to look at it and think "I did that..."

23 Jun, 2012

 

You're very kind Dotty . . . thank you! Hope you get there one day . . .

Yes, Steragram, I agree. But BC is amazingly modest - always saying that she owes a lot to her late husband's scientific knowledge.

23 Jun, 2012

 

The really brilliant people are often the modest ones as they have no need to prove anything to anybody...and aren't they always the nicest to talk to?

24 Jun, 2012

 

Your so right Stera....

25 Jun, 2012

 

Yes - well said Stera...

25 Jun, 2012

 

Enjoyed your blog Sheilabub. It brought back some nice memories. I visited BC's garden many years ago after she had written the 'Garden Tapestry'. A book I still own and refer to even now. She is a great advocate of right plant/right place, which is some of the best gardening advice Ive ever received. Its a shame she's getting on a bit, we have lost some really great gardeners in recent years. She was a great friend of Christopher Lloyd but was not afraid of putting him in his place when she felt he was being controversial! How funny, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in one of their conversations!

25 Jun, 2012

 

Many thanks Poppy. Have you seen the Beth Chatto/Christopher Lloyd correspondence in a book called "Dear Friend and Gardener"? You'd love it!

26 Jun, 2012

 

Oh that looks like one for the Christmas wish list. Thanks Sheila Ill have a look :))))

26 Jun, 2012

 

. . and I've ordered a copy of your "Tapestry" recommendation. Good this!

26 Jun, 2012

 

I'm just enjoying the tennis Sheila, but have really enjoyed this interval round Beth Chattos garden, fabulous photos with a great feeling of open space in her gardens, it looks very serene, would love to go someday too. Going to remember the book too, that sounds like a great read!

29 Jun, 2012

 

Thanks Janey . . . loved the Federer result!!

1 Jul, 2012

 

Hoping he's not going to have QUITE such a good result this afternoon!

8 Jul, 2012

 

Well - there you go Gattina. What a star, and what a match they both gave us!

8 Jul, 2012

 

I never thought to see Andy Murray quite so emotional. Good match, though.

8 Jul, 2012

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