Towards the end of the 1960s the original fruit farm was sold. To help carry on and develop the Gardens, Beth Chatto decided to start a small nursery. Like the Gardens it began modestly with one girl and a Saturday helper, but eventually acquired a total of 15 acres of land, including the Gardens. It was hoped that the Garden might eventually prove to be a living catalogue, a place where people could see plants matured and grouped harmoniously to suit both their setting and their needs. Over the years the staff has also grown, their enthusiastic and dedicated support is obvious to all our visitors.
Today there is an extensive range of over 2000 different kinds of mainly herbaceous plants, with smaller ranges of herbs, shrubs and succulents. With just over 2 acres of stock beds we propagate by cuttings, seed and division and grow around three-quarters of all the plants we sell every year ourselves. In the Nursery the plants are classified according to their growing conditions. The shade-loving plants, both for general shade and dry shade, are sheltered under a metal structure. Whilst outside there are plants for a general garden soil alongside, damp-loving, drought-resistant and small alpine-type plants. All plants are to be found in alphabetical order within their section. We also have a large area where plants are raised on benches to show-off certain plant combinations and help provide inspiration to our visitors.
The Nursery Gift Shop sells a fantastic range of gardening gifts including Beth Chatto's books, a beautiful range of greetings cards and postcards, tools chosen by the staff and locally made pottery amongst many other gifts. New introductions include ranges of natural soaps, essential oils and lip balms to delicate ceramic bird feeders. The range changes throughout the year and all our stock is carefully hand selected for its practicality, beauty and unusual quality.
The Nursery and Gift Shop are open during our normal opening hours. Admission can be gained to the Nursery and Gift Shop without purchasing an entrance to the main Gardens.
Open Bank Holidays, closed Christmas to New Year.