Beth Chatto garden 3 the foliage

my third and finally post with photos of the Beth Chatto garden focuses on foliage, one of the first things I noticed was the dense plantings and intertwining foliage, as my visit was early August it would be difficult to take photos without any flowers so several foliage photos include flowers but they are not the focus,  

this was just after a short shower and the hosta leaves looked almost silver due to the water reflecting the light,

as I saw this I just love the 3 tiers, no flowers needed,

loved this plumy foliage the plant on the left hasn’t got white leaves it is light reflection on wet leaves, colour and light are so different after rain,

this shrub was amazing it was as if it was lit from behind, I took several photos but couldn’t capture the light then I saw it with the dark tree behind and finally it worked in the photo, it looked unreal like it does here,

I love that light green grass and want some,

looking at the water on the right of this bed you could be forgiven for thinking it’s in the water garden but this is the ‘dry’ gravel garden, as I have said the garden was wet!

if you missed the first 2 posts with photos of Beth Chatto’s garden here are links

Beth Chatto garden 1 the long view

Beth Chatto garden 2 the flowers

I left this post on foliage until now to join Christina’s foliage meme please visit Christina’s blog to see more foliage posts, 


©Copyright 2012 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

12 responses to “Beth Chatto garden 3 the foliage

  1. Lovely post. Beth Chatto’s garden is the most inspiring I’ve ever seen. She says she’s not a designer but I would begto disagree. So interesting to see the Euphorbia myrsinites looking almost green, with the rain, this really highlights how silver foliage works to the plants advantage. Interesting to not that although the ‘dry garden’ maybe doesn’t have it usual sparkle nothing is dying from too much rain, compare that to my garden where even drought tolerant plants are suffering through lack of rain and high temperatures. Christina


    • thank you Christina, I think Beth Chatto is more than a designer she’s an artist who paints with plants, shes probably modest too, her Euphorbia myrsinites is looking much better than mine with the dry weather (though not hot) here, mine is somewhere between the 2, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and were not upset by it,

      I saw your comment to Pauline about drought ‘tolerant’ plants and you are right except for floods, if the roots sit in water they cannot breath and the plant will die so there has to be a draining of the water, last winter when the low part of my garden kept flooding this was what worried me and I watched to see how long the flood stayed, I’ve heard that most plants can survive 3 days in flood but then it depends on individual plants how much longer they live, everything in moderation, Frances


  2. paulinemulligan

    Beth Chattos book ‘The Green Tapestry’ was the first gardening book that I bought and what an inspiration it has been, have since bought her books about the damp garden and the woodland garden. All her plants are put together so beautifully that they look good even when not in flower, as she says, flowers are a bonus. Not everyone sees the beauty in foliage unfortunately, when garden visiting they demand flowers which is a shame. Is the lime green grass Milium effusum aureum, if so I have plenty of seedlings you could have, just let me know.


    • thank you for your offer Pauline I will happily accept any seedlings of anything that might grow in my garden having such a large space to fill and being on a budget, I could exchange for gunnera seedlings which are coming up every where, sadly so much that I have started to consider the possibility I might have to kill off my gunneras,
      as I said to Christina I think she is an artist and using words like ‘tapestry’ is expressing the garden in artistic terms, the way her plants intermigled it is definately like they are weaving together,
      I’ve become reluctant to buy more gardening books because they rarely relate to the conditions of my garden both in weather and soil, I looked in her shop but didn’t see her books, I have found some recently online with excerpts to read, one being her describing her garden conditions and they are so different to mine she even says she couldn’t being to give advice to someone gardening in west Wales or the Scottish islands! having said all this I do feel I learnt a lot just from this one visit to her garden how much of it will be helpful to me up here is another matter, I can see from what I have seen of your garden via your blog that there are simalarities between your gardening conditions though being in the west you will have more rain that she does in the east, Frances


  3. Beautiful, the gardens are a work of art, the combinations of foliage are wonderful. Sorry, too many superlatives, but really, inspirational.


  4. Frances you are right she paints with plants…I felt like I was looking at a canvas in every picture…your photos were just wonderful capturing her art work and they were even more fabulous wet…certainly different in this light and I bet again even more different in sunlight. I will make this garden a must see someday…thx for sharing it Frances.


  5. Truly inspirational! The intricate tapestries Beth Chatto weaves are stunning. As you know, gardening is one of the more difficult art forms, as plants and their environment are not so predictable as oil paint, watercolors, or yarn! Foliage always comes first in my heart, and Beth Chatto is a master.

    Also, thank you for your comment on my last post. The lovely heart shaped purple foliage you asked about belongs to Colocasia ‘Kona Coffee’. I bet Beth Chatto would like it.


    • thanks Deb for the info of the plant, glad you enjoyed seeing Beth Chatto’s garden, as you say plants are a difficult art form which makes her work all the more amazing, Frances


  6. Love this garden. I have two books on her work too.