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Drought Resistant Planting Hardcover – March 23, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (March 23, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711214255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711214255
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.9 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The author of several gardening classics, including The Dry Garden and The Damp Garden, British horticulturist Beth Chatto has once again documented her gardening adventures in Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden. A woman with a true love of soil (no matter how temperamental) and plant life, Chatto set out to create a lovely, viable garden in her gravelly, sandy soil. The challenge to find flowers and shrubs that would survive and thrive in this dry environment became an eight-year experiment that resulted in a beautiful, original gravel garden ranging over three-quarters of an acre.

Chatto takes us through the process step by step, beginning with conceptualization. How can she turn a former parking lot into a prospering garden? She notes that

We all find a haze of bluebells beneath beeches, primroses on clay soil beneath oaks, or a damp meadow golden with buttercups more magical than anything we can create. However, in our gardens we look for more. We learn to make plant associations that extend the season, to create pictures worth living with throughout the year.

Season by season, year by year, Chatto records the planting and maintenance of her gravel garden, reveling in the fecundity and tenacity of nature. Her prose is clear, concise, and at times dryly academic. Readers who have a wide knowledge of botany and an understanding of the Latin names of plants will have a leg up on more casual gardeners. Filled with pictures by Steven Wooster, who has photographed many of Chatto's gardens, the book is a visual delight. The vibrant ruby petals of clematis leap off the page and you can almost feel the spiny green stalks of the Onopordum acanthium. --Dana Van Nest --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Beth Chatto combines, as well as anyone at work today and better than most, an eye for good plants, knowledge of their ways and a sensitivity when putting them together -- Ursula Buchan Spectator Beth Chatto has to be the plantswoman of the century because she knows how to please plants ... a desire to emulate these beautiful plantings should be enough to drive all serious gardeners to read the book -- Mary Keen Garden

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Finally, a book that lives up to, and exceeds, all expectations. Beth Chatto is one of a highly respected group of plantsmen and women in Britain who knows what she is doing, isn't afraid of making mistakes and doesn't mind sharing it all with us. This book is easy to follow, logically set out, and even the use of taxonomy in naming plants makes you eager to look them up to see what Ms Chatto is describing. The descriptions of plantings through the seasons are like the development of a symphony, from the debut of a plant in its season, through its performance and twilight, to the entrance of its successor in the drama, with punctuations and particular mention of any encore performances of which a plant is capable. Ms Chatto knows her stuff. Anyone living in similar conditions to Ms Chatto's in Britain, Australia or America should find this book a must.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "lebep" on August 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After so many years of having, through necessity, to read only technical and quick reference gardening books. It was such a great pleasure to find a quite place in my garden and be totally engrossed in Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden. Billed by the publisher, Blooming Books as ' a book for Australian conditions ' which is true but this book pertaining to gardening with drought resistant plants will be of interest to anyone who gardens in an arid or low rainfall area, or to those who want to have 'a good read' about one gardeners' vision. Who, as she describes, gardens in the 'driest and most windswept piece of soil in England'
Beth's book has all the requirements of any good reference book but it is more than that. I can only describe it as a cross between a novel, diary and reference book. It is an autobiography of her garden, the trials and tribulations, if you will, of creating a specialised area. This is a great benefit to the reader as she has made all the mistakes and now passes on the right way and what to do, to avoid disappointment. We travel through descriptions of the garden as the four seasons come and go. Descriptions that could hold their own in any non fiction novel. Beth paints with words the obvious love of her garden and gardening.
Any great diva needs an equally great accompanist. Beth certainly is blessed, for the photography of Stephen Wooster compliments her book so well and any adjective I use to describe his images would not do him justice. They have to be seen to take in their beauty and his artistry. When I review books I have one main criteria in mind. What is on the front cover is delivered within. Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden past this one in the first 5 pages.
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By Patricia Kimura on July 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I thought this would be a how-to book for making a gravel garden but it was just an account of one woman's garden that must have cost a fortune to construct. Boring!
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