Friday 20th May 2022

This week, it’s all about the Dry Garden. This approach to gardening was made famous in the U.K. by the writer, plantswoman and horticultural legend, Beth Chatto, who transformed a car park in her famous Essex garden into a gravel garden. This was by way of an experiment to deal with the challenge of being situated in one of the driest parts of the country. It succeeded, and is now famous for its spectacular display of drought-tolerant plants and the fact that it is not irrigated, despite having poor, free-draining soil.

Chatto first cleared the area and then redesigned it using hosepipes to create large curving shapes, reminiscent of a dried-up river bed with islands of planting. A similar approach was adopted at Garden House, and after a great deal of clearing, designing and some hard landscaping, the time is right for some planting.

So, drought-tolerant plants for a dry area. Looking good so far.

Oh dear. Looks a little damp. Maybe it will get better?

Let’s lay out some of the plants ready to go in

Er, is the weather improving?

Improving? Are you joking?

It’s not a joking matter. Unless you’re one of the few who gave some flimsy reason for not turning up today…

But we try to keep cheerful nonetheless

Soggy

Waterloggy

Downward doggy

Is she doing a raindance?

It’s supposed to be a dry river bed

Well, everything will be thoroughly watered in

Taking on its final shape

Raking gravel over the planted areas

Brushing to ensure an even surface

And, you know what? It was actually a lot of fun!

All we need now is some dry, sunny weather

Roll on summer

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