Ecological and sustainable

Plants & Gardens

The gardens are open

Tuesday to Saturday inclusive, 10am - 5pm

Summer Solstice

On June 21st we will be open until 8.30pm

Beth Chatto
Beth Chatto

Beth Chatto OBE was an award-winning plantswoman, author and lecturer. Her work here at the Gardens began in 1960. She took an overgrown wasteland of brambles, parched gravel and boggy ditches, transforming it using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions: right plant, right place. An inspirational, informal garden has developed.

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Our Gardens
The Nursery
Horticultural Education

Our Gardens

7.5 acres of garden, based on ecological planting: the right plant for the right place. Created by award-winning gardener, author and lecturer Beth Chatto OBE VMH, who won 10 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, in the 70s and 80s.

Gravel Garden
Scree Garden
Water Garden
Woodland Garden
Reservoir Garden
Our Gardens

The Nursery

The vast majority of all the plants we sell are propagated and grown on site by our dedicated team. These plants are cared for from our garden, to yours. The Nursery, first begun by Beth in the 1960’s, now offers over 2,000 varieties of plants, grouped into conditions, making it easier to find the plants that will suit your garden.

Sustainable planting
Border design service
Grown with care
The Nursery

Horticultural Education

Education underpins everything we do. The Beth Chatto Education Trust has developed an inclusive range of courses, workshops and activities and we are an RHS approved course provider. Annually, we deliver more than 62 courses, involving in excess of 1100 individuals.

Horticultural Education
“I just wanted to email you and let you know we had a wonderful day on Saturday. The team couldn't have been more helpful and mum & dad as indeed did the whole family had a splendid time.  After our light lunch and cake we had a relaxing walk around the gardens, enjoying the wonderful plants and the welcome shaded areas.”

K Jones
 | September 2023

Plan Your Visit
Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex, CO7 7DB

Inspiration for plant and garden lovers. Explore how Beth and her team turned hostile land into beautiful gardens based on her mantra: right plant, right place.

February 20th - April 1st 2024
Tuesday - Saturday (10am - 4pm)
April 2nd - October 26th 2024
Tuesday - Saturday (10am - 5pm)

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