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Book Launch | Beth Chatto: A life with plants

A talk with Dr Catherine Horwood to celebrate the publication of her new book, Beth Chatto: A life with plants. After the talk, Catherine will be joined in conversation with Victoria Fritz.

Beth Chatto: A life with plants tells the story of the most influential British plantswoman of the past hundred years. Beth Chatto was the inspiration behind the ‘right plant, right place’ ethos that lies at the heart of modern gardening. She also wrote some of the best-loved gardening books of the 20th century, among them The Dry GardenThe Damp Garden, and Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden.

Some years before her death in May 2018, aged 94, Beth authorised Catherine Horwood to write her biography, with exclusive access to her personal archive. Beth Chatto: A life with plants also includes extracts from Beth’s notebooks and diaries, never previously published, bringing Beth’s own distinctive and much-loved voice into the book. Most of the photographs, also from Beth’s personal archives, have also never been seen in print before. For Beth’s legions of fans, Beth Chatto: A life with plants is the personal story behind her beliefs and the struggles and determination that brought her success.

We’re thrilled to be hosting Catherine’s launch talk about the book. After talking about her experience of writing the book and giving us an exclusive first glimpse, Catherine will be joined on stage with BBC News broadcaster Victoria Fritz for a Q&A about Beth’s life, work, and legacy.

Beth Chatto: A life with plants will be published by Pimpernel Press in September, and available to purchase at the talk.

Speaker bios

  • Dr Catherine Horwood

    Dr Catherine Horwood

    Dr Catherine Horwood is a social historian specialising in the history of women and horticul-ture. Her publications include Rose (Reaktion), Gardening Women (Virago) and Potted Histo-ry (Frances Lincoln). Her work on Beth Chatto’s archives resulted in Beth and her family ask-ing her to write Beth’s biography. Beth Chatto: A life with plants will be published in Sep-tember 2019 by Pimpernel Press.

  • Victoria Fritz

    Victoria Fritz

    Victoria is a BBC News broadcaster and instagardener. Victoria’s passion for the natural world has taken her from British Colombia to Patagonia, along the Amazon and across the Pacific. The practices she learns she shares on social media as @thesocialgardener. Victoria gardens with gusto on five acres of terraced hillside, woodland and meadow on the High Weald in Sussex.