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Beth Chatto: Legacy

Beth Chatto's 'right plant, right place' approach to planting has been influential in the field of sustainable garden design.

  • Letter from Beth Chatto to her staff, expressing concern about global warming

    2011

Beth’s ecological approach to gardening, based on her husband’s lifelong research and epitomised by her ‘right plant, right place’ mantra, has been influential in the field of sustainable garden design.

In 2020, the Beth Chatto Gardens were listed by Historic England as ‘a particularly important and early example of an environmentally sustainable garden design, using plants adapted to, and in harmony with, local conditions’.

Beth convinced gardeners to forget the obsession with flowers and strong colour achieved through cultivars, hybridisation and unnatural forcing. Instead, she encouraged an appreciation for the natural beauty of foliage and species plants in native settings. By growing plants in conditions and communities in which they naturally thrive, gardeners can create successful, sustainable gardens requiring less human intervention, with a reduced impact on the environment.