This week we’re celebrating the renowned plants-woman, Beth Chatto, who sadly died this week at the age of 94.

We’ve featured Beth’s wonderful garden near Colchester in Essex several times on the SGD blog. Her inspirational planting style (which won her 10 gold medals at the presitigious Chelsea Flower Show in London) is loved and admired the world over.

The Key to Successful Planting

Beth was known for her no nonsense approach to gardening. She instilled in to me the ‘right plant, right place’ mindset early on in my career.

Beth Chatto’s famous gravel garden

Her garden near Colchester had many different soil conditions to contend with, from dry to boggy and even woodland. It enabled her to grow a tremendous range of plants.

Beth’s books have helped people all over the world tackle gardens with difficult soil conditions.

Beth had a great eye for shape and form, something I think she gained from her years of flower arranging.

She was always able to put plants together in stunning combinations that looked good all year round.

Beth Chatto’s Garden Highlights

Here’s a video I recorded last summer when touring her main garden. The second video shows the gravel garden that they purposely didn’t water as an experiment…

Beth’s gravel garden can be seen at 7mins into 2nd video (episode 24 of the Successful Garden Design Show).

Six Decades of Success

You can read the official obituary on the Beth Chatto website. The garden and tea rooms are still open to the public so why not pay them a visit at this wonderful time of year?





Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    2 replies to "Plantswoman extraordinaire – Beth Chatto"


      well respected women and a great inspiration to us all

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