There have been many thousands of words written and dozens of books published about Beth Chatto and her world famous garden in Elmstead Market in Essex. So, I don’t intend to write a long article about our visit to the garden one sunny day in June, because I don’t think that I could write as well as the professional garden writers, or that do the gardens justice. (Scroll down for pictures!)
One of the things I love about visiting the garden is spotting the plants I recognise from my own garden such as geraniums and hostas next to more exotic plants that I can’t even pretend to know the name of, let alone know how to grow.
The garden is beautiful in all seasons of the year, but June is my favourite time to visit, when there are so many plants to admire and views to discover.
If you visit don’t miss the gravel garden – it’s especially designed to withstand the low rain fall and dry cold winds of North Essex. (St. Osyth village just a few miles from Elmstead Market has the lowest levels of rainfall of any where in the country.)
I can’t recommend the gardens highly enough – for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. But one word of warning – if there’s a coach party visiting, you may have to queue for lunch – although it’s worth it as the food is lovely. You could always do as we did visit the plant nursery to buy some plants and then drive to nearby Wivenhoe for lunch at the Black Buoy pub (although we haven’t written an article about it!)
Here are (just some!) of the photographs we took today. Click on any of them to view a bigger version and to scroll through the others.