In 1960 Beth Chatto set about transforming a wasteland on the edges of her husband's family fruit farm near Elmstead Market, Essex.It is now a world renown garden. Her skill was not to fight nature but use species that suited the terrain and soil conditions, creating the intersecting lakes, bog and dry gardens. It seems obvious now but at that time gardeners were still making a garden look like they wanted without regard to the time and effort and expense it needed to have something grow where it didn't want to. One of her mottos was how could a plant thrive [...]
The Prairie gardens has been going for almost 10 years now. If you like wild grasses and full planting that interlinks like a great tapestry you will enjoy this garden immensely. I will post more detailed photos later this month but I like these big vistas. The field which they planted on is surrounded by mature oaks. Inspired by the Dutch and German Naturalistic plant designers of the 1980's Paul and Pauline McBride originally planted 30,000 plants on 1000's of tonnes of recycled garden waste. In late winter rather than prune everything with shears they set fire to the [...]
Stipa Giganta is often used in a large shrub border. Here is is used at the ends of two narrow beds creating a golden passage way.It's common name is Golden Oats. The seed heads remain all winter.