OCTOBER is the month to share your favourite gardens.

(This month share with us what is special about your favourite garden. Why do you like it? When is it at its best? And how do we get there. Of course you may wish to share your own garden in which case unless you open it to the public, keep the actual location private. )

I have recently been on a road trip around Britain – or some of it. Starting in the south-east and working my way northwards up to the Highlands of Scotland. Opportunities abounded to discover some new gardens and I made sure to find the time to fit in a few along the way. Luckily the weather on the whole cooperated and with September gardens no longer the tired and dreary places they once were I am hoping that you will enjoy the visits with me.p9060098

I am beginning with Beth Chatto’s garden in Essex, near Colchester. Famous for her gravel garden which is free to enter (as is the nursery and wonderful tea room), there is another part to the garden with water features and wide herbaceous borders. I’ll come back to that part later on, but for now I shall show you around the pretty gravel garden.

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You will notice an abundance of blue-green, grey and silver foliage, golden grasses and low-growing mounds.

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Colour is added by the addition of poppies, coastal plants such as the horned poppy and sea lavender. Sedums attract the bees, Gaura Lindheimeri  flutter in the breeze like dancing butterflies and the autumn crocus form stunning patches of purple-pink drifts.

And after two hours of mowing the lawn (a very small lawn) on Thursday – I swear it grew at least a foot high whilst I was away – I am contemplating creating my own gravel garden. Not that there is any shortage of water in these parts.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules πŸ™‚

  • Create your own post and title it October: A Garden Portrait
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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46 thoughts on “garden photography: Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden

  1. This is fascinating, Jude – a garden experiment, but ‘a thing of beauty’ too. It invites you to study its parts while taking in the whole. And an interesting time to see it when my garden, for one, is going all out of shape and bit ragged.

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    1. It really is beautiful with all those grasses – they do have a lot less rain at that side of the country though so I’m not sure how well some of the plants would fare down here. My soil is very fertile too, not in the least sandy and free-draining. But the concept is good.

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  2. I can sympathise with you Jude about your lawn. We arrived home yesterday morning to find that clover has taken over the lawn and my rose garden, and various other gigantic weeds have joined in. It looks ghastly. I love the idea of this gravel garden but I fear the weeds wouldn’t be put off by the lack of soil and water. I saw so many beautiful gardens during our September in England so I will have to decide which one to feature.

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    1. I have realised that I cannot leave the garden for 3 weeks! In future I shall have to plan holidays during the winter when nothing grows πŸ˜€ I hope your weeds come out easily. Most of mine are perennials and lift out by hand, except for those horrors with the long tap roots… and the brambles.

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      1. I cleaned out the rose garden yesterday and this morning and it looks much better. I wouldn’t not go on holidays because of the garden though. It doesn’t usually become overgrown like it has this time.

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  3. It looks gorgeous, Jude. I looked it up, I want to go there! Such an amazing woman and stunning garden.
    I have to go London Stansted at the end of the month and I’d like to escape an day earlier and take Klausbernd, Siri and Selma with me. What do you think? Is late autumn ok?

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  4. This is a garden I’ve always wanted to visit and probably never will, thanks for going for me! I’d say the experiment has worked wouldn’t you, it’s beautiful and there is much to learn from Ms Chatto. Gorgeous photos πŸ™‚

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