Our Blog

Marginal Maintenance
Marginal Maintenance

Having spent the first few days of June jumping in and out of the ponds here at The Beth Chatto Gardens, catching up with some long overdue maintenance, I suddenly remembered I was due to write a piece on this very subject! I was also reminded that attempting to walk backwards wearing waders with my feet stuck in the underlying mud and clay is somewhat foolhardy...

13th June 2017 IN Advice
Alliums
Alliums

The Gravel Garden simply wouldn’t be the same without alliums. A fabulous bulb for anyone creating their own drought-resistant garden. They are dramatic, decorative and best of all, easy to grow. They can add so much to the look of a border with their spherical heads. Just make sure you can give them a free-draining, light soil with plenty of sunshine, and you will be guaranteed success.

11th May 2017 IN Advice
Seasonal favourites
Seasonal favourites

Following is the first of a seasonal selection chosen from Beth Chatto’s 100 ‘must have plants’ and originally featured in an article published by Gardens Illustrated in their February 2012 edition. More details can be found by clicking on each plant.

14th April 2017 IN Advice
Aerating your lawn
Aerating your lawn

After a winter of compaction April is a good time to consider aerating your lawn. We use a 1.8m wide verti-drainer which is in effect 6 large forks mounted on the back of our lawn tractor. The lawns here were created over the existing soil and as such, there is not a dedicated drainage system to relieve wet areas. We have over the years added drains to help this situation.

13th April 2017 IN Advice
Springtime shade plants in the woodland
Springtime shade plants in the woodland

Spring is the time for shade loving plants to come to the fore. In the woodland garden light levels are increasing, the soil is warming, plants are bursting forth. Every colour is reperesented, including a myriad green shades. Magic is in the air.....

7th April 2017 IN Advice
Indispensable Elephant’s ears, bergenia
Indispensable Elephant’s ears, bergenia

Elephant’s ears, bergenia are one of the most indispensable and widely used evergreen plants here. Unfortunately, the genus does suffer from the fact that many people consider them untidy, rather boring and a perfect home for slugs and snails.

Very often seen in large sprawling mats of creeping rhizomes and fitting of this such bad press perfectly is...

8th March 2017 IN Advice
Spring-cleaning grasses
Spring-cleaning grasses

We have ornamental grasses growing in every area of the garden, and it’s possible to find one suitable for every type of condition, from shade to sun, damp loving to drought tolerant. 

Here at Beth Chatto, we tend to use them as single specimens so that their full shape and habit can be appreciated, something that is often lost in mass plantings.

In the last two years, timing when to trim grasses has been the trickiest issue, because the winters have been so mild...

23rd February 2017 IN Advice
Hellebores in winter
Hellebores in winter

A welcome sight in late winter and early spring, the hellebore provides a feast for the eye.  Christmas rose or Lenten rose as they are commonly known come in hundreds of different varieties and providing you have a part-shaded or fully shaded spot with a humus rich soil and good drainage, then growing hellebores is easy.

11th January 2017 IN Advice
Potted dwarf bulbs and why we prefer to plant bulbs in the Spring
Potted dwarf bulbs and why we prefer to plant bulbs in the Spring

Although autumn is the best time to buy and plant spring-flowering dry bulbs, from the usual such as daffodils, tulips, crocus to the less common and slightly trickier to establish woodlanders such as trilliums and wood anemones. it’s not the ideal time for deciding exactly where to place them...

10th January 2017 IN Advice
Easy shrubs for exquisite winter fragrance
Easy shrubs for exquisite winter fragrance

Commonly known as Christmas or sweet box, the delicate creamy-white flowers of sarcococca appear from December to March.  Their scent never fails to lift the spirits even on the dullest of mid-winter days...

1st January 2017 IN Advice