One of the joys of our recent summer holiday was a visit to the Beth Chatto Gardens near Colchester, Essex. The creation of the gardens began in 1960 in a ‘wasteland’ corner of the family’s fruit farm. It continues to develop today, with 93 year old Beth maintaining an active interest.
A key feature of the gardens is their informal design which makes full use of the undulating landscape and varying soil conditions. At the centre is an extensive water garden – a succession of pools fringed with a wide variety of. trees, shrubs and aquatic plants There are no straight line or hard paths. Neatly trimmed grass encourages a casual meander between the flower beds as the fancy takes. Despite the large number of visitors, they seem to vanish into the surrounding light woodland.
These gardens truly are a haven of peace and serenity.