Grow contented plants and you will find peace among them

The life of award-winning plants woman Beth Chatto OBE and her support of the National Garden Scheme have been commemorated at her internationally famous garden in Elmstead Market, Essex with a specially commissioned carved, Welsh slate bench.

The idea for marking the very special life and career of Beth Chatto came from Ed Fairey, a talented gardener in his own right who opens his garden in Ardleigh for the National Garden Scheme every year. Ed is tireless in his support for the charity and his Chelmsford-based financial services firm Fairey Associates generously supports the National Garden Scheme in Essex. Aware of the beautiful works created by the acclaimed letter carver and sculptor Martin Cook, Ed suggested that the charity commission a special bench for the occasion.

Martin comes from a family of carvers dating back to 1730 and the work he has created is a beautifully understated slate bench with the inscriptions ‘Beth Chatto 1923-2018 A great friend of The National Garden Scheme’ along one edge and Beth Chatto’s quote ‘Grow contented plants and you will find peace among them’ along the other. The bench sits within the peace and beauty of the garden which Beth Chatto and her husband created and will be enjoyed by the many visitors who continue to visit.

In his opening remarks, George Plumptre, National Garden Scheme Chief Executive, commented on the kindness and patience he had always received from Beth and how, during the 50 years of opening her garden for the National Garden Scheme she had not only raised in the region of £80,000 for the charity but also given enjoyment to tens of thousands of visitors who have seen the garden, each benefitting from the knowledge she had gained from creating a garden with the very specific growing conditions of this part of north east Essex in mind.

The Gardens remain a family-run business, managed by Beth’s granddaughter, Julia Boulton, and continue to open for the National Garden Scheme twice a year. The next opening in aid of the charity is Sunday 29 September. Go to Beth Chatto’s Plants & Gardens page for full details.

Don’t miss a thing

Sign up to hear more about gardens, events and our
activities throughout the year

By completing this form, you confirm that you are aged 18 years or over and that you are happy to receive emails from the National Garden Scheme in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share your details with anyone else without your express permission.



Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
Donor 8
Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
Donor 11 £80,000
Donor 12 £281,000
Donor 13 £260,000