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Re: Christopher Lloyd & Beth Chatto

Well, I'm late on this thread - my email is in such a mess; inbox has
4458 messages wanting me to look at them - but since both Christopher
Lloyd and Beth Chatto have played an important part in my education
as a gardener, wanted to throw in my 2 cents.....

I mourn the passing of Christopher Lloyd - not really unexpected
because of his age and I had read he'd entered the hospital, but
still very sad for me.  His books were some of the first gardening
books I ever read. All of them contain his own brand of pithy wisdom
- I still re-read them today.  He was a real gardener; often mistaken
for one by people visiting, since he'd be out there in his old
clothes, weeding.  He wrote from hands-on experience.  Had the great
good fortune to visit Great Dixter in 1989 - he was not visible, but
I took the house tour - the older portions of the house are open for
guided tours (at least when I was there)...the garden was fabulous,
even in late Sept. when I was there.    Also heard him speak at a
symposium many years ago - most entertaining and interesting
speaker....his passing is a loss to horticulture IMO.

Beth Chatto has been my garden guru since I discovered her in 1985 -
saw her booth at Chelsea and was blown away by the plants in it that
I'd never seen before; acquired and enjoyed her books and finally got
to see her garden during the 1989 trip to England and fell in love. 
She has an unsurpassed ability to combine plants for best effect in a
subtle fashion. She's a plantswoman par excellence.  If I could
return to only one garden in the UK, it would be hers.

I also got into Bressingham that same trip, which wasn't open, but
Allan Bloom gave permission and even opened the door for me (I was
beside myself with garden joy that year) - he's another of my gurus;
one of his was the first garden book I ever had.  

Beth Chatto's 'Green Tapestry' is more of a compilation of plant
portraits, IMO....but her opinions on growing things are always
sound.  Her late husband was deeply involved in the study of natural
plant associations - after years as a fruit grower - and influenced
her interest in observing in the native habitats of plants - what
kinds of conditions they originally come from - because her garden
has such diverse soil and conditions - from many feet of pure gravel,
to boggy to stolid clay - and she wanted to understand which plants
would grow best with the least amount of water and labor,as it is
very dry where she gardens and for many years, she was, with her
nursery staff, tending it and time was precious, so she couldn't
afford to have to coddle plants to get them to flourish.

Beth's other books - 'The Dry Garden' and 'The Damp Garden' and my
favorite, 'Beth Chatto's Garden Notebook', are well worth reading as
her philosophy works on both sides of the pond even tho' we all can't
grow everything she does.  I think the above have all been re-issued
and updated from the copies I have that date from the late 80's;
probably more pix and in color.

Beth Chatto and Christopher Lloyd were good friends and there's a
book out of letters between them - I think it's called something like
'Dear Friend and Gardener'.  I enjoyed it, mostly for the insight it
gave me into these two people whom I have admired for so many years.

So, Ceres, hope you got into 'The Green Tapestry' and enjoyed it.  If
you didn't, don't give up on Beth Chatto - find, if you can, her
garden notebook and give that a whirl.   IMO, you can't go wrong with
books by either Lloyd or Chatto:-)

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Shadyside Garden Designs

> From: Cersgarden@aol.com
> In a message dated 2/4/06 5:11:47 PM, andrea.hodges@sbcglobal.net
> > I checked out a book by him at the library yesterday. Has a great
> > photo of Lloyd and Fergus together on the inside jacket.   It's
> > layering for year round color.
> >
> Andrea, I reading 'Green Tapestry' by Beth Chatto which suggested
by Doug
> Hoerr the Chicago Designer.   I worked in her garden.   I am not
> yet.
> Hope the best is yet to come.   Anyone read this?
>      Ceres
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