Sunday, 6 November 2011

Beth Chatto’s Garden

After our last evening in Rye we decided not to make a dash for home, but instead set forth on a gruelling journey north to Colchester. Here lies the home of celebrated gardener and plantswoman, Beth Chatto, whose name I have found to be one that pops-up repeatedly in horticulture! Her glorious book ‘Plant Portraits’ has given me great pleasure recently and here at Hidcote we plant purchases from her famous nursery, so it was jolly exciting to finally get up to her garden and poke about the place! I found it to have a great feeling of space and expanse, lacking the hedges and walls I’ve become accustomed to at Hidcote. The structure is instead provided by an almost endless number of specimen trees and large shrubs, which bank the large paths that wind about the place. The planting is deep and generally in large clumps, which make for some great distance views if you remember to look back up the path you have just taken. Clearly this was not the golden moment to visit the garden, but nevertheless it is a truly beautiful place with some incredible plants!

Late-season interest straddling a pond in the Water Garden, and another Taxodium distichum

A truly stunning pond, but unfortunately no boat hire

This tree is Eucalyptus pauciflora subsp. niphophila, or Snow Gum

The jewel-like berries of the evergreen Viburnum davidii

Tricyrtis formosana, the toad lily

The light was beginning to fade here in the Gravel Garden

The spectacular foliage plant, Melianthus major

Five cats reside here at Mrs Chatto’s expense!


Janet said...

Bertie I've got all Beth Chatto's books and her garden/nursery is on my list to visit. I've even bought plants from her nursery a long time ago before I adopted a shop local/grow your own policy. I was rather surprised when talking to one of her staff on the phone that she thought Orkney was in Ireland!
Lovely post, especially my favourite melianthus and the cats!
Can I request that for your next garden visit you go to Derek Jarman's garden at Dungeness?

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

Your photo of the Gravel Garden is beautiful...The tree and the agave balance each other so well in the midst of the mounded planting.

Beth Chatto is an amazing gardener. I have not read P.P. yet - thanks for the recommendation!

I have so enjoyed reading your posts and Helen's in tandem. It is interesting to see what each of you chose as your favorite views, plants, etc., and what stories you each have to tell. Blogging at its best!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Hey Bertie! Thanks for sharing the visit! What an amazing gardener...
I love the pic of the cats too.

Prue said...

Thanks for sharing your photos!It looks an amazing garden. I've never been but it's on my 'to visit' list.
Love the cats :)

And thanks to all of you who recommend her books. Sad to say I've never read any.
Now...where's my Christmas list :)

Elephant's Eye said...

Another vote for Dungeness!

I so enjoy your photos and your way with words ;~)

Anonymous said...

Would give anything to visit that garden - what a treat! The cat portrait - priceless!

Bertie Bainbridge said...

What ho all! If the opportunity arises, I will certainly drop by Derek Jarman's garden! It looks incredible from what I have seen.

Michael said...

What a fantastic visit! It's amazing how the gravel garden looks both arid and lush at the same time. The cats are an added bonus.

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