The site was an over grown wasteland between two farms when she and her husband Andrew bought it in 1960. Faced with many difficult conditions with dry and damp soil in both sun and shade they were able to but into practice the underlying principals of what is now referred to as "Ecological gardening" There are a series of four gardens – Scree, Gravel, Woodland and Water. Walk with me and I will show you around.
I remember some years ago we were having some very hot dry summers, and there were hosepipe bans all over the country, Beth turned her Car Park into a dry garden using plants that that could withstand a drought and using ground cover plants and natural mulches to preserve the moisture in the ground. She vowed never to water and any plant that could not survive – did not, and was replaced with a variety that did.
As we approach we come upon the water gardens which were originally muddy gravel pits, clearly a lot of loving care has gone into making the garden what it is today. What amazes me when ever we visit gardens very rarely do we see anybody working there, they seems to spill out their beauty with no visible sign of effort!
Moving on we come to the sunny boarders alive with vibrant colours, this is one of my favorite colour combinations, though I am disappointed in the way Windows Live Writer is reproducing the photos, you will get a better picture if you look in the album!
Woodland paths meander through dappled sunlight to show shade loving plants at their best, there was even a patch of Himalayan Balsam, well under control, a very beautiful plant introduced to the UK in about 1830, considered to be and invasive weed, it is banned by the RHS. Related to the Busy Lizzy tolerates shade and in its turn shades out other plants as it grows to a height of five or six feet.
The gardens were laid out with many beautiful vistas, but a few specimen blooms and seed head took my fancy, please look in the photo album to see more pictures of this beautiful garden and if you should ever venture into the exciting county of Essex I do hope you will visit it, here is the web site.