Life has been a whirlwind this past week, I left my job and home in Hertfordshire for pastures new in Llanarthne, Wales. I’m halfway through my first week at the National Botanic Garden of Wales and am loving it – it isn’t raining, I must have brought the sunshine with me!
I will have lots to update you all with by the weekend, for now here is a post I wrote last month. 🙂
A few weeks ago I went on a fabulous road trip with my friend Charlotte – we saw three gardens in one day!
This post is about the first garden we visited, the Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex. We set off early and had the gardens to ourselves for the first hour or so – I love wandering round with no one else there as it means I never get random people popping up in my photos!
The Dry Garden
Beth Chatto is known for her famous dry garden, which is the main reason me and Charlotte wanted to visit as we have been giving our dry garden at Ashridge a major overhaul.
It was very reassuring to see most of the plants we had included in our planting plan in Beth Chatto’s own dry garden. It’s all very well reading books and drawing designs on paper but when you see it for real it suddenly takes on a new meaning.
I love how Beth Chatto’s dry garden had “islands” of plants with pathways around them, as well as borders at either side of the garden. Pretty much everything was labelled which I love as there’s nothing worse than seeing a wonderful new plant and not knowing the name of it!
Sedum telephium ‘Karfunkelstein’
I saw several species of certain genera which caught my eye such as Euphorbia myrsinites, Sedum telephium ‘Karfunkelstein’ and Pennisetum villosum. The swathes of grasses added texture and structure and masses of Verbena bonariensis was used throughout the garden, linking one area to another.
The overall effect of the dry garden was beautiful, it may not be to everyone’s taste but it inspired me for sure. I’m very happy I’ve seen “the” dry garden everyone in the horticultural world raves about!
We also had a look around the rest of the garden, which included a water and woodland garden. The pond was surrounded by gorgeous herbaceous beds, with loads of late-flowering perennials – my favourites were the rudbeckias and Echinacea purpurea ‘Rubinstern’.
Echinacea purpurea ‘Rubinstern’
The Taxodium distichum trees were amazing, they were positioned perfectly at the water’s edge. The flowers of the aquatic plants Pontederia cordata and Thalia dealbata were so striking, if only I could create a garden like that!
Pontederia cordata in the foreground
Taxodium distichum in the background
There was an area called the Scree Garden which had displays of succulents and cacti in pots and raised beds. One display was of Beth Chatto’s own personal succulent collection!
Succulents and cacti displays
I loved this cute dianthus!
Aeonium arborescens ‘Schwarzkopf’
Beth Chatto’s succulent collection
It was a garden which was well worth the visit – I hope you enjoyed the photos. 🙂