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Celebrate the life of Beth Chatto (1923-2018) with some of her best books

Written by · Published May 17, 2018

The gravel and water gardens at Beth Chatto Gardens

The gravel and water gardens at Beth Chatto Gardens. Image credit: bethchatto.co.uk

Acclaimed gardener Beth Chatto has died at the age of 94. Her magnificent garden at Elmstead Marketwill be familiar to many Suffolk readers. Stock librarian Brandon King picks out some of her best books.

Drough-resistant Planting: lessons from Beth Chatto’s gravel garden, with Steven Wooster

“The story of how Beth Chatto created her gravel garden on ‘possibly the driest, and the most windswept, piece of soil in England’ has a message of hope for gardeners everywhere. At the outset she promised herself: ‘This garden was not to be irrigated in times of drought. Once established the plants must fend for themselves or die.’

“The results, eloquently described by the author and beautifully portrayed in Steven Wooster’s specially commissioned photographs taken through the seasons, testify to the triumphant outcome of the adventure. Showing how her principles can be applied on any scale, this book is an essential read for any gardener facing water shortages and poor soil.”

Beth Chatto’s Shade Garden: shade-loving plants for year-round interest, with Steven Wooster & Erica Hunningher

“Beth Chatto takes us on a guided tour of her woodland garden, revealing a triumph of planting in dry shade.”

The Damp Garden

“This book provides detailed and accessible ideas on garden management, plans for every type of soil and situation, nearly twenty specially tailored lists to help with planting in various conditions and over 1000 descriptions of suitable plants.”

The Dry Garden

“In this book the author provides valuable guidance on types of soil and on basic principles of design. She discusses the plants and plantings suited to dry conditions and includes a detailed list of plants, with notes on their characteristics.”

Dear Friend and Gardener: letters on life and gardening, with Christopher Lloyd

“Two long-establised friends and distinguished gardeners share gossip about gardening, life, music and nature, and compare notes on successes and failures in their very different gardens.”

Secret Gardens of East Anglia, by Barbara Segall & Marcus Harpur

Beth wrote the foreword for this photographic collection of 22 of the most interesting, inspirational and photogenic gardens of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team