a trip to the beth chatto gravel garden was very inspirational for both myself and the garden owners of one of my current projects.
their soil is predominantly stodgy clay, so we were on the hunt for suitable dry garden, clay soil loving plants! obviously the plan is to dig grit into the soil to make it free draining, but the owners wanted to look at plants that cope with no maintenance and thrive in all types of soil.
the beth chatto gravel garden is just the place for this. the gravel garden evolved from planting in poor soil and the philosophy is that the garden can be, and is, left to its own devices. chatting to one of the gardeners about soil issues, he strongly recommended veratrum and that is most definitely now on our list. a beautiful plant indeed.
walking round the rest of the gardens, I particularly love the round stones informally yet intentionally placed near the water (in the water garden) that entice you down to a peaceful spot tucked under the bamboo and trees. for me, the perfect place to sit with my morning cup of tea.