No garden lover could visit Britain without making the effort to see The Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex. Seven acres of absolute, unadulterated bliss; and synonymous with rich planting, shade plants and magnificent displays of leaves and flowers. This is one of the great gardens of the world.
I'm dedicating today's post to fellow Blotanists - Teza (Teza's Garden), who is really into shade plants, and Gail (Clay and Limestone), who loves unusual plantings - so hope you both enjoy this post - I know it's on Teza's wishlist, so perhaps you'll get to see this garden in 2010.
Beautifully laid out around a series of ponds, you will be enchanted not just by the huge variety of water-loving plants, but also the borders, filled to bursting with swathes of colour and unusual plant combinations. The displays are truly mouth-watering!!
Skillful planting makes the garden look so much bigger than it really is and you can easily spend half a day here and feel you've covered hundreds of acres, because there are so many different plant species, and such interesting combinations that you'll find yourself touring the garden many, many times.
I'm not going to write endless words to accompany this entry because I think the garden speaks for itself (and hope that the pictures give a good impression) - this is definitely one to put on your list. Need I say more?
The latest addition by Beth Chatto is the Gravel Garden (below) - laid out in the last couple of years and very much in its infancy compared to the rest of the gardens, but already showing great signs of promise. Combine all of this with a really wonderful nursery and you won't be disappointed.