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  • Writer's pictureThomas Andrew Brown

Is the spirit of designers like Beth Chatto lost in modern garden design?

Designer Beth Chatto was known for her passion for plants and gardening. Her gardens were designed to be beautiful and functional, with a focus on Mediterranean plants. Today, many garden designers seem to be more interested in creating flashy designs that are heavy on aesthetics and light on plant care. Has the spirit of Beth Chatto been lost in modern garden design?



Are modern materials making our gardens generic and lacking a soul

Our modern gardens are often characterized by the stream-lined use of modern materials, making them both easy to maintain and completely generic. The days of painstakingly created landscapes with soul-filled natural elements has gone out of fashion as modern gardeners choose to invest in modern materials like plastic membranes and porcelain tiles. It takes more effort and creativity to bring personality outside into our gardens rather than simply purchasing premade features. The upside is that modern materials allow us to create easily maintainable outdoor spaces where we can enjoy ourselves without too much hard work. But are we really missing the beauty of being outdoors by doing so.


How more planting and less structure can make our gardens a more relaxing place to be.

When I gaze at a Beth Chatto garden, I can't help but marvel at the delicate balance of nature and design. The plantings are carefully blended to create an enchanting landscape where no hard edges exist; instead gentle gravel pathways suggest movement as if through some magical realm. These idyllic gardens seem almost wild in their beauty yet her expertise ensures each element is artfully placed giving visitors permission to roam freely among this delightful paradise that beckons us all its own special kind of serenity.

Our lives are laden with structure, every moment and obligation carefully delineated. But in the garden we can find tranquillity; a world of natural chaos allowing us to escape from the rigidity of our regular routines. A place where life's unpredictable beauty is truly awe-inspiring and oddly relaxing.



Less structure and materials will revitalise the spirit brought to gardening bye amazing horticulturalists and designers.

Gardening has long been a beloved art form, with the pioneering horticulturalists and designers of days gone by paving the way for stunning gardens to be created. Beth Chatto, among many other incredible contributors to the craft of gardening, successfully achieved creative splendour through her use of minimal materials and planting. Her method is inspirational for gardeners everywhere who hope to bring fresh life into their green spaces. Less structure and material can offer new life to old gardens as we're reminded of Chatto's revolutionary approach. With this less-is-more mentality, traditional and modern trends can be merged in any garden, offering a unique and exciting outlook on an age old practice. Rekindling the spirit brought to gardening by incredible experts like Beth Chatto requires nothing more than the drive to challenge ourselves and attempt something new.

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