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Beth Chatto: Unusual Plantswoman

Beth Chatto (1923-2018) was an award-winning British plantswoman, author and lecturer whose garden in Essex demonstrates her ecological approach to planting, choosing plants that suit their local environment. She deposited her archive at the Garden Museum in 2015, and thanks to Archives Revealed funding from The National Archives, The Pilgrim Trust and The Wolfson Foundation, we have been able to catalogue and share it.

This free exhibition, included in your entry to the Museum, brings together items from across the archive to show both her early influences and her own ideas on planting, which culminated in her internationally famous Gravel Garden.


Clockwise from top left: 1. Andrew Chatto and his daughters at White Barn House c.1959 , when garden paths and beds had only just been laid out. 2. A possible idea for Beth Chatto's first exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show, 1976. 3. One of Beth Chatto's notebooks with a sketch of a river bed in the Burren, Ireland, c.1990, which was in inspiration for the Gravel Garden. 4.The Gravel Garden by Steven Wooster, 2009. (c) The Beth Chatto Estate and Steven Wooster Photography.