Gardening pioneer, Beth Chatto OBE VMH, is to be posthumously named 2019’s Iconic Horticultural Hero at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival next month.
Ms Chatto, who sadly passed away in 2018, aged 94, was the founder of the Beth Chatto Gardens in Elmstead Market and her “right plant in the right place” ethos has inspired generations of gardeners.
The annual RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival attracts thousands of people from across the world and as part of the 2019 festival (July 2-7) the Royal Horticultural Society will reveal a drought-resistant garden in tribute to the late Beth Chatto. The garden will honour the hugely influential plantswoman, as it champions her ethos of sustainable planting when gardening in difficult conditions.
Ms Chatto’s vision of sustainable gardening is more relevant now than ever, with gardeners increasingly looking for drought-proof planting inspiration for their own gardens.
She established her own gardens built on her “right plant, right place” ethos in Elmstead Market, Essex, in 1960 and also won 10 consecutive Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show during the 1970s and 80s. Over her lifetime, Ms Chatto published several gardening books, as well as writing and featuring in numerous books and articles, sharing her deep love and profound knowledge of plants and planting.
Her gardens and nursery are now one of the nation’s favourites and have influenced and inspired a generation of gardeners. They continue to grow and develop with dedicated and knowledgeable staff, many of whom learnt their trade working alongside Beth Chatto.
The drought-resistant garden being unveiled at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival has been designed by Beth Chatto’s garden and nursery director David Ward, who worked alongside Beth Chatto for over 35 years, and features a range of drought-tolerant plants with the aim of encouraging the next generation of gardeners to consider a style of planting that will ensure gardens are ready for the future.
Mr Ward and his team will be on hand at RHS Hampton Court Palace over the duration of the festival to talk to visitors about Beth’s work and ethos, as well as offer advice about the garden and the plants on display. Visitors to the show garden will be given the chance to win £500-worth of vouchers to spend at the Beth Chatto Gardens and nursery.
Beth Chatto’s granddaughter and managing director of The Beth Chatto gardens, Julia Boulton said: “We are delighted that Beth will be honoured at The Hampton Court Garden Festival. The festival is one of the highlights of the horticultural calendar and I think Beth would have been over the moon that she is being remembered in such a way.
“David and our team have worked hard on a design and planting style that remains true to Beth’s ethos of “right plant, right place”, and we are looking forward to seeing the display at Hampton Court. If you are at the event do come along and see us, look around the garden and find out more about Beth, her life and outstanding contribution to horticulture.”