Online Lecture – The Beth Chatto Gardens, Past, Present & Future

Tuesday, 8 March 2022 18:00 - 19:15 Other


Speaker David Ward

Organised by FOLAR – a lively Friends group dedicated to raising the profile fnd use of the Landscape Institute archive and library housed at The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL)

Who was Beth Chatto and what inspired her to create a series of gardens and a perennial plant nursery?  David Ward has been working at these gardens for 38 years, and has witnessed and been hands on shaping the growth and development of the different garden zones – from wet to dry, open to exposed.  How will the character and dynamics of this garden continue without its original maker? What difference does it make to this garden having it on Historic England’s register?

Dr Chris Gibson states that Beth’s mantra of ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ is not just about the practice of gardening plants. It is also reference to the network of beneficiaries of the right plants in the right places – insects, birds, mammals, indeed the whole spectrum of biodiversity. All gardens support wildlife, but some are better than others, and he believe because of the steps we have taken towards sustainability, this garden is better than most. This talk will look at some of the wildlife surprises in our garden, and the steps we have taken to improve it still further.

David Ward is the Garden and Nursery Director at The Beth Chatto Gardens and Trustee of the Beth Chatto Education Trust. He trained at the Norfolk College of Agriculture and Horticulture and Merrist Wood College, studying nursery practice and worked on various wholesale and retail nurseries in the UK and Holland. He joined Beth in 1983 and became Propagation Manager. He assisted at four Chelsea Gold Medal exhibits and recently contributed extra chapters to reprints of Beth Chatto’s Drought-resistant planting, Beth Chatto’s Woodland Garden and The Green Tapestry revisited. 

Dr Chris Gibson is an experienced naturalist who worked his whole career in the statutory wing of nature conservation. Since taking early retirement, he has continued to promote wildlife, especially in Essex, and for the past year has been proud to act as the Beth Chatto Gardens Wildlife Advocate, advising and enthusing staff and visitors alike of the biodiversity riches to be found in a sustainably managed garden: showing the world what is possible is an important step to changing hearts and minds.

Part of a series of 21 online lectures, £5.00

Click the following link to buy a ticket.