Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex

A perfect day spent with mbfiatw Jean when we went to the Beth Chatto Gardens, in Elmstead Market nr Colchester - another in my occasional "Essex is Beautiful' series :) 

"The Beth Chatto Gardens are an informal collection of ecological gardens created by plantswoman Beth Chatto in 1960 from the gravel soil and bogs of the disused fruit farm belonging to her husband Andrew Chatto."  Wikipedia

First we wandered their 'gravel garden' which is not irrigated - an experiment to discover how unwatered plants can survive in our sometimes drought-blighted-hose-banned Essex - (yes, really, I was amazed as well).  (Extra pic) Then after lunch in their cafe we took a leisurely stroll around the gardens 'proper' until finally driven indoors by a light shower when we had  afternoon cream tea - well, it is her birthday tomorrow :)  Before leaving Jean bought some "Jamaican Primrose" plants that grow in such profusion as wild flowers in Akbuk and I bought a 'Sea Holly' (as in extra pic) that also grows in abundance there. Hoping to be there this time next week.

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