Beth Chatto (born 27/06/1923) is a plantswomen, gardener and writer. Whilst having no formal horticultural training, she was inspired by her parents' enthusiastic gardening, her husband's lifelong study of natural associations of plants, and friendship with the great plantsman and artist Sir Cedric Morris. The Beth Chatto Gardens began at Elmstead Market, Essex in 1960. By applying the principles of ecological gardening, she transformed an overgrown area of wasteland into informal gardens that harmonise with the surrounding countryside. Complementing the gardens is a large plant nursery producing a wide range of unusual plants, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. She has won ten Gold Medals the Chelsea Flower Show and was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour (1987), the Lawrence Memorial Medal and an honorary doctorate from Essex University. She is the author of many books including her classics The Dry Garden (1978) and The Damp Garden (revised 2004) as well as Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden (2000) and Beth Chatto's Woodland Garden (2002). An engaging exchange of letters with Christopher Lloyd, Dear Friend and Gardener, was published in 1998. In 2002 she was awarded the OBE for her services to horticulture. A keen advocate of organic gardening, she has lectured worldwide. She lives in Colchester in Essex.
To visit the Beth Chatto Gardens website click hereAward-winning photographer Steven Wooster specializes in the photography of gardens and plants. He lives in London.
"If ever there was a book to make one a better, more knowledgeable
gardener, this is surely it." * The English Garden *
"Beth Chatto combines, as well as anyone at work today and better than most, an eye for good plants, knowledge of their ways and a sensitivity when putting them together." -- Ursula Buchan * Spectator *
"Beth Chatto has to be the plantswoman of the century because she knows how to please plants . . . a desire to emulate these beautiful plantings should be enough to drive all serious gardeners to read the book." -- Mary Keen * Garden *
"Edited with a true artist's eye [...] the beauty of the structural flowering hummocks, the pools, pockets and ribbons of colour, the textural contrasts with punctuating verticals and Mrs. Chatto's now famous plant "veils", is unsurpassed." -- Helen Yemm * The Daily Telegraph *