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Iconic British gardens - Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex

It's always a pleasure to visit the Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex - a green oasis near Colchester, created from a once-neglected hollow between two farms, where owner and creator, Beth Chatto worked wonders in her lifetime. This garden is unique and has inspired visitors since it first opened in 1973, largely because of the late owner's expertise in placing plants in the right place. Sadly, she died in 2018, at the age of 94, but both gardens and nursery continue to thrive and many of us have at least one of her books on our shelves. 
Beth Chatto, plantswoman extraordinaire, started creating this garden in 1960 with her husband Andrew. There was nothing here when they arrived more than 50 years ago, but they set to work to turn the seven-acre paradise that survives today from a boggy hollow and a plot that was arid elsewhere. Together they pioneered the idea of using plants adapted by nature to problem places, using shade-loving plants in areas with little direct light and  drou…

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