Beth Chatto: a Life With Plants
By Catherine Horwood
£30 ISBN 978-1910258828
The late Beth Chatto has long been a part of gardeners’ lives; she changed the way we think and look, and left a huge footprint on the horticultural world. In her books, lectures and interviews, Beth was extraordinarily open about her life, her influences, and the challenges she faced. Her Garden Notebook (published in 1988) and the exchange of letters between her and Christopher Lloyd in Dear Friend and Gardener (1998) have already given us an insight into her personal world, so could a biography add anything more? A book like this could so easily disappoint – especially if the biographer hasn’t dug deep.
Catherine Horwood’s book is, however, a triumph, beautifully crafted by an author who has thoroughly researched and understood her subject. She has concentrated on Beth Chatto the person, reading 30 years’ worth of her private diaries, and interviewing dozens of her friends, colleagues and family. From start to finish, this publication gives us a real understanding of Beth Chatto’s life.
The author paints a vivid picture, from Beth’s humble beginnings as a village constable’s daughter, gardening alongside her mother Bessie, to her romance with Andrew Chatto and their ensuing marriage, followed by family life with her daughters Mary and Diana, to her involvement with flower arranging, to her meeting with influential artist and iris breeder Sir Cedric Morris, to success and recognition, through to the final years. Beth’s drive and determination is clear from the start.
The text is well supported with black-and-white photographs from the family’s private collection, paintings and sketches by Andrew Chatto, as well as pages from Beth’s notebook. There is so much here to keep the reader gripped.
FIX YOUR PRICE FOR THE YEAR- HALF PRICE SALE!
Special offer to celebrate RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Get a whole year of Gardens Illustrated magazine for just £30 and FIX YOUR PRICE!- saving over 50%. Subscribe today and enjoy beautiful places, top planting ideas and expert advice for your garden. *Offer ends 1st July 2022. This offer is only available to UK residents paying by Direct Debit
Container Gardening Special Edition
The Gardens Illustrated Guide to Container Gardening. In this special edition, discover colourful flower combinations and seasonal planting schemes for pots designed by leading plantspeople, and essential know-how for container gardening success. Just £9.99 inc UK p&p
Gardens of the Globe
Discover some of the most glorious gardens from around the world.Find out more