Gardener, writer and plantswoman Beth Chatto dies

Beth Chatto OBE VMH, the acclaimed gardener, writer and plantswoman died peacefully at home with her family by her side, on the evening of 13th May 2018, aged 94. There will be a private funeral with a memorial service to follow.

In a gardening career spanning six decades, Beth Chatto’s many awards included ten successive Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea, the RHS’s highest award, the Victoria Medal of Honour, and the RHS Lawrence Medal both in 1987, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 from the Garden Writers Guild (now the Garden Media Guild), and two honorary doctorates, from Essex University in 1987, and from Anglia Ruskin University in 2009. 

In 2002, Beth Chatto was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours, and her most recent honour came in 2014 when she received The John Brookes Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Garden Designers.

Beth’s spirit will live on in The Beth Chatto Gardens (Elmstead Market, Essex) and her gardening ethos will continue through the work of the Beth Chatto Education Trust, established to inspire the next generation of gardeners.

She leaves behind her two daughters, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Julia Boulton, Beth Chatto’s granddaughter and Managing Director of the Beth Chatto Gardens said, “Beth lived here on site which meant rarely a day went by without her popping into the Gardens, even when she was well into her nineties.

“She was a natural communicator, always keen to talk to visitors, sharing her love of plants and ideas, and of course with the many professional gardeners and colleagues who sought her guidance.
“The Gardens are her legacy, as are her books and other writings, which have had a tremendous influence right around the world and continue to do so.
“Beth’s way of planting and her concern for the environment have been widely adopted. It’s easy to forget how original these ideas were when she first put started putting them into practice here at Elmstead Market nearly 60 years ago.
“The fantastic gardening team Beth assembled will continue to implement her philosophies, and above all share her passion for plants with the many thousands of visitors who come each year to the Beth Chatto Gardens to admire and learn from her life’s work.”
“We are delighted that The Beth Chatto Education Trust will also preserve her legacy, by promoting her ideas and giving practical advice to future generations of gardeners.”

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