Friday, 13 September 2013

The Beth Chatto Gardens

My aquatic radar took me on a little diversion during our travels last week, directing me to the gentle rolling lowlands of Essex where inspirational British plantswoman, Beth Chatto has created seven harmonious acres of peaceful gardens over the last fifty years.

The main attraction of the visit were the infamous water gardens, upon whose banks I sat in blissful, meditative contemplation for almost the entire afternoon while the rest of the world passed me by.

This is the kind of garden that doesn't need a heap of additional prolix to illustrate it's beauty, so I'm going to simply invite you to step into the dreamscape. Jump aboard my little rowing boat for two and with fingertips skimming the waters surface, let's drift away.......
Click to Enlarge

Elmstead Market


  1. How enchanting! Such a calm and serene place! And what gorgeous pictures!

  2. Just lovely! The last photo is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your enjoyable visit with us! Pamela

  3. I'm there with you, Sir Paul! Quiet, peace, greenery and gentle breezes are what I can feel in my mind. Thank you for this lovely tour. Anita

  4. Hello, I just read a Blog post about daydreaming. This beautiful place is a perfect place to daydream. The whole garden looks so green and so peaceful. I'm daydreaming now...

  5. So beautiful, dear Paul, thank you! I'll be on an English river too, very soon - hopefully with fingertips skimming the waters surface - but not so sure of that...

  6. Thanks for this impressions, I love this garden. We have visited it this year two times.


  7. I will visit it some day!

  8. What a romantic garden it is Paul. I can see you sitting at the waterside overlooking the lake.......:-)

    Happy Sunday!

    Madelief x

  9. "The wind in the willows sang softly to me,
    Follow my voice wherever it leads,
    Through mountains and valleys and deep rolling seas,
    Born on the wings of the breeze
    Spin me a dream, woven silver and gold
    Of sunshine and shadows and days long ago.
    Where people are memories and stories unfold
    Willows, the tales you have told me.
    Wind in the Willows you just seem to know
    Who you can turn to and which way to go
    To unwind your wondrous mind.
    Wind in the Willows, take me home."
    lyrics by Ralph Mc Tell

    Music and nature go together. Poetry is the common denominator: it allows us to access a world which, otherwise, would be unknown!

    The images you posted are pure poetry, especially for someone, like me, who was born breathing salt and seaweed.

    Looking at the little boat, I couldn't help thinking of Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, and his fantastic adventures. Then, I thought of the tune and the lyrics: a kind of little crown, a frame in which to display your images.

    Paul, you probably have been, but I think you would love the Norfolk Broads, with the beautyful villages, thatched cottages and ... all that water! I love a place called Coltishall and, most of all, I adore a little village called Horning, where, whilst having a wonderful meal in "The swan In" you can look out of the window and watch the boats sailing by.

    Thank you for a fantastic post!


    ANNA xx

    1. I removed previous comment, as it was nonsense. Anyway, the pub is actually called "The Swan Inn" and it is beautiful*



  10. Ahhhhh....and your boat ride sir Paul is a welcomed Sunday morning activity as I am just now getting up! How lovely to see your comment this morning and yes, is that not a gorgeous ch√Ęteau in the background of that rose photo? Ah...dream.

    AND I STILL want to know if you would be willing to give us an AUDIO tour of your surroundings. We would love to hear you! Anita

  11. Sigh, ahhhhhhhhhhh!

  12. Paul,
    Your description of floating away with fingertips in the water was perfect. I am virtually there! Thanks for the lovely visit. The last photo...My favorite of all you have posted! When I want to dream at night, I'll think of that.

    Have a lovely Sunday! xKim

    p.s.Thanks for your note on my post. I am laughing about Grif and the broadsheets. Lol!

  13. Just gorgeous Paul.....have always had Beth Chatto's garden on my 'must go to' list! Thank you so much for visiting my blog.....hope you make it to the 'Great British Seaside' soon!

    Have a lovely week,

    Sophia x

  14. You have a very lovely life sir.

    xo jane

  15. Beautiful, - green with envy...

  16. what a lovely peaceful wonderful a dream!

  17. Beautiful, serene and very lush!!! I would love to sit in that row boat sipping a glass of wine while Tom rows us around. Maybe nibble on some grapes and cheese :) Yes, indeed!!! x Loi

  18. So stunning and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing xxx

  19. Dear Paul,
    It looks a simple but lovely garden.
    Next time we are back in Blighty I shall endeavour to go there myself.

  20. It looks like heaven, Paul. I can imagine whiling away an entire day there. Your photos are lovely.

  21. Oh Paul - this is such a peaceful beautiful place. I'd love to spend the afternoon just drifting in that rowboat ----
    The photos are so stunning-- that must have been the most glorious afternoon when you visited there. You are so lucky to have so many beautiful gardens to visit in your driving range:)

    Thank you for taking us along-- I really don't want to leave--