Beth Chatto Part 3: Chelsea and beyond | 451life

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Beth Chatto Part 3: Chelsea and beyond

In this final film we follow Beth Chatto telling us about her early days of showing at Chelsea in the late 1970s when she started her record-breaking run of ten consecutive gold medals in the Great Marquee. Whereas the stands around her were displaying flowers and plants forced into flower in heated greenhouses, Beth’s was a carpet of plants simply dug up from her own garden, quite unheard of in those days.

We hear how Beth combines her love of species plants with inspiration from the Japanese triangle of life linking heaven and earth with man in between showing us how this is reflected in her planting designs.

Beth Chatto’s books have become among the best loved of gardening classics. It is no surprise to hear her tell us that she wrote outside ‘standing, feeling the atmosphere, actually looking into the plant, looking and seeing the detail, smell, touch, feel.’

Even as the decay of autumn approaches, her mind adjusts, she tells us, ‘to letting all these lovely leaves and shapes and textures go’. ‘It is’, she feels, ‘almost a relief that that the overwhelming bounty of growth and life has gone to sleep’.

Thanks to Beth Chatto, The Garden Museum and Catherine Horwood Barwise.