Pioneering plantswoman Beth Chatto OBE VMH, is to be named 2019’s Iconic Horticultural Hero at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July.
Beth, who died in 2018 aged 94, was the founder of the Beth Chatto Gardens and her “right plant in the right place” approach has inspired generations of gardeners.
The RHS is creating a drought-resistant show garden to champion her ethos of sustainable planting when gardening in difficult conditions.
Beth’s vision is more relevant than ever today, with gardeners increasingly looking for drought-proof planting inspiration for their own gardens. Beth Chatto took this approach when she established her own gardens at Elmstead Market, Essex, in 1960. She won 10 consecutive Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show during the 1970s and 80s. Over her lifetime she 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. They continue to grow and develop with dedicated and knowledgeable staff, many of whom learnt their trade working alongside her.
The drought-resistant garden to be unveiled at Hampton Court has been designed by Beth’s garden and nursery director, David Ward, who worked alongside her for more than 35 years. It features a range of drought-tolerant plants to encourage the next generation of gardeners to consider a style of planting that will ensure our gardens are ready for the conditions of the future.
Visitors will be given the chance to win £500 worth of vouchers to spend at the Beth Chatto Gardens and nursery.
Julia Boulton, Beth Chatto’s granddaughter and managing director of the gardens, said: “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.”