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Beth Chatto A Life with Plants - NOW IN STOCK

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£17.99 Save 10%
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"She started to hand over personal diaries she had kept daily, a near-complete run from 1963 into the Nineties. They were astonishingly frank and revealed two unsuspected strands of her life..." The Telegraph

Beth Chatto's official biography has received fantastic reviews in the press. We are hosting the launch of the biography here at the Gardens, on the 4th and 5th October with author Catherine Horwood and we invite you to come along.

In her late eighties, Beth began to collaborate with her dear friend and author, Catherine Horwood, on documenting her life. Beth had always been an avid diary writer and author herself, of course, so the content of this biography is full of details and events in Beth's life that few knew about, and certainly were never published. Catherine spent more than 500 hours talking to Beth and her friends and family, and many more hours exploring Beth's extensive collection of personal diaries, letters, photographs and hand-written notes.

"Beth Chatto is one of the most influential gardeners in our history.This extraordinary person will touch generations of gardeners to come.Gardeners from all over the world have taken her lead on the right plant, right place and have had our eyes opened to texture, shape and form." - Fergus Garrett 

"Of all the gardeners I know, it is for Beth that I feel the deepest respect." - Alan Titchmarsh 

"Beth's garden was perhaps the most original British horticultural creation of the twentieth century. It will continue to have a profound effect on designers across the world in the twenty-first century." - James Hitchmough, Professor of Horticultural Ecology, Sheffield University 

Beth Chatto: A Life in Plants tells the story of the most influential British plants woman of the past hundred years. Beth Chatto was the inspiration behind the 'right plant, right place' ethos that lies at the heart of modern gardening. She also wrote some of the best-loved gardening books of the twentieth century, among them The Dry Garden, The Damp Garden,and Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden

Some years before her death in May 2018, aged 94, Beth authorised Catherine Horwood to write her biography, with exclusive access to her archive. It also includes extracts from Beth's notebooks and diaries, never previously published, bringing Beth's own distinctive and much-loved voice into the book.Most of the photographs from Beth's personal archives, have also never been seen in print before. 

For Beth's legions of fans, Beth Chatto: A Life with Plants, published by Pimpernel Press, is the personal story behind her beliefs and the struggles and determination that brought her success.

Such a brilliant insight into Beth's life. Definitely worth buying! So many things I never knew about her! What an amazing woman!

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  • Can I order something that you don't sell?

    We stock over 2000 varieties of plant and not all of them make it onto our website. If there is a specific variety or plant you are after, please email us on

  • Availability

    Stock levels are kept fully updated on our website.  If you plan to visit our nursery please do check our website for current availability before travelling, or please email us on and we can put plants aside for you. Alternatively, order through the website and select the 'Collect from our nursery - FREE' option. Please allow 3 days between ordering & pick up. 

  • What size pots will my plants be supplied in?

    Our plants are sold in a range of pot sizes dependent upon their growth needs:

    9cm – for all our alpine plants

    1 Litre –  for the majority of our herbaceous perennials

    2 Litre (occasionally 3 Litre) – for shrubs and those herbaceous perennials which require a larger root run

    Some plants may be supplied 'bare root' and will be of comparable size to pot grown plants.

  • Where do you deliver?

    We are pleased to be able to deliver our plants throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.  Unfortunately, we are currently unable to deliver overseas.

  • How much does delivery cost?

    Rather than absorb the cost of postage within our plant price we prefer to charge a realistic postage and packing charge.

    For orders dispatched to England, Wales and Scottish Lowlands the charge for delivery is:

    £9.95 for orders up to £200
    £15.00 for orders from £200 to £500
    £20.00 for all orders over £500

    Please see our Delivery Information page for more details and charges for Scottish Highlands & Islands, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Isle of man, Isle of Wight and the Channel Isles.

  • When will I receive my order?

    Once you’ve placed your order online you will receive a confirmation email.  Your order will then be dealt with as quickly as possible by our experienced mail order team. During peak periods it can take up to 10 working days to receive your plants.  Once the team have selected your plants the status of your order will change to “processing”.  Finally - when your order has been carefully prepared and boxed and is ready to be collected by our courier - you will receive a dispatch email and can expect your plants to arrive the following day (for England, Wales & Scottish Lowlands).  We use a special fragile overnight delivery service to ensure that your plants spend the minimum amount of time in transit. Please see our Delivery Information page for more details and charges for Scottish Highlands & Islands, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Isle of man, Isle of Wight and the Channel Isles.

  • How do I track my delivery?

    Once you receive your dispatch email click on the tracking number link and you will be redirected to our couriers APC. Enter your tracking number and postcode there and you will be able to track the progess of your parcel(s).


  • Why has my plant been cut back?

    Traditionally the mail order plant season has run from October to March. This was because many plants would dormant during this time of the year and foliage would either be reduced or absent, making them easier to post.

    Now mail order runs all year round and thus requires us to maybe cut back some of your plants, particularly from April to October. Plants with tall flowering stems and lots of foliage may lose a great deal of water in transit and cutting back helps reduce this stress. Cutting back will not harm your plants but will help in their establishment by promoting new root and shoot growth once planted.

  • *** Coronavirus Information ***

    Our people and plants are at the heart of what we do


    Postal services and delivery networks continue to run as normal. If this changes, we will let you know.

    This means online retail now has an increasingly important role to play.. We want to do everything we can to make sure you receive the items you need - and also protect the health and safety of all parties involved.

    Whilst policy might change in the coming weeks, we know for now there may be some small adjustments in sending and receiving your plant orders.

    Here's what that means for...

    Sending Plants

    We use a dedicated plant delivery company and are keeping up to date with any changes in their delivery times. Currently we're seeing no significant disruption for UK deliveries.

    This means you can shop with confidence, and you'll get most of your items by the estimated delivery date. We'll continue to closely monitor this situation and keep you up to date with any changes.

    We'd like to echo the Government's stance and say please do ensure you strictly adhere to the social distancing guidelines when couriers deliver your plants.

    If you'd like to take a look at a full copy of the guidelines, you can click:


    Click and Collect

    Click & Collect option is now suspended until; the new year

    BCG 14/12/2020

  • Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic

    Brexit Transition:

    With the uncertainty regarding Brexit, we have been advised that as from 1 January 2021, we will be unable to dispatch any plants to  Northern Ireland or the Irish Republic.  Should the situation change we will endeavour to reinstate this service. Apologies.


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