Beth Chatto OBE

Beth Chatto

Areas of Interest

Environment and Agriculture

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Science, 2009

Biography

Beth Chatto OBE is the queen of gardening.

The now world-famous Beth Chatto Gardens at Colchester garden began in 1960, on wasteland at the back of her late husband, Andrew Chatto's fruit farm, where many problem areas have been transformed into advantages by his life-long research into the natural homes of garden plants.

Plants-woman, designer and winner of ten Gold Medals at Chelsea, she also holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour and an honorary doctorate from Essex University for her services to horticulture. She is the author of a host of gardening classics and is also co-author of Dear Friend and Gardener, written with her long-standing friend and fellow gardener, Christopher Lloyd.

Beth Chatto was awarded the honour of an OBE for her services to horticulture in 2002. A keen advocate of organic gardening, she has lectured worldwide. Welcoming travellers from across the globe to her garden and mentoring the new generation of celebrity gardeners, she is much loved and admired by all.



Citation

"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Beth Chatto OBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Science.

Beth Chatto OBE is the queen of gardening.

It has variously been said that she has entered the realm of national treasuredom; a gardening gem who is blessed with an effortless elegance and a style all of her own.

The now world-famous Beth Chatto Gardens at Colchester garden began in 1960, on wasteland at the back of her late husband, Andrew Chatto's fruit farm, where many problem areas have been transformed into advantages by his life-long research into the natural homes of garden plants.

The stunning gardens demonstrate her horticultural prowess. They are not ecological gardens, but are based on ecological principles using plants adapted by nature to difficult conditions. The comprehensive nursery which bears Beth Chatto's name is based on the same principles.

Plants-woman, designer and winner of ten Gold Medals at Chelsea, she also holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour and an honorary doctorate from Essex University for her services to horticulture. She is the author of a host of gardening classics and is also co-author of Dear Friend and Gardener, written with her long-standing friend and fellow gardener, Christopher Lloyd.

The books of Beth Chatto have become well-loved classics. Her first book, The Dry Garden was published in 1978. In 1998, some 20 years and many titles later, Beth Chatto was awarded the Garden Writers Guild Lifetime Achievement Award for her work.

Inspired by her husband, who devoted much of his life to research into plant habitats, she has introduced UK gardening enthusiasts to a world of unusual plants, helping people to understand the needs of plants, and to choose plants that will thrive in extreme conditions. Her overriding philosophy on gardening is choosing the 'right plant for the right place'.

Beth Chatto was awarded the honour of an OBE for her services to horticulture in 2002. A keen advocate of organic gardening, she has lectured worldwide.

Welcoming travellers from across the globe to her garden and mentoring the new generation of celebrity gardeners, she is much loved and admired by all. Beth Chatto has gained the respect of gardeners worldwide. She deserves every honour she has collected and the limelight she now enjoys.

We at Anglia Ruskin are delighted that she is accepting our very own award for horticultural excellence as she continues with her mission to inspire others to be creative while developing their love of plants and gardens. Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Beth Chatto OBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Arts, honoris causa."