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Chatto garden essex

Clean and tidy rooms, friendly staff, good value for money. Location is remote from towns - but road links are good.

Reception is sometimes left unattended and tv in room didnt work at first but once I asked the man at reception to fix the tv he did so promptly. Some residents park their cars outside the rooms - so the noise can disturb you.

(thank you, Charlie, for looking after me...)The garden is small enough for me to use a stick rather than a mobility scooter, and in this atmosphere, it was good to walk and rest, walk and rest.

I had forgotten my seatstick, but there are seats around the garden to contemplate the planting - which is the reason why one comes to this garden.

The atmosphere in the gardens is of peace and tranquillity, even with other people there.

The day I last went, it was misty, in the Autumn, with very few others - but there was a cat: a silver tabby who accompanied me all round the garden until I was within distance of the exit - then she disappeared...

We first visited about 25 years ago and it’s been inspiring seeing it grow.

Elmstead Market, nr Colchester, CO6 822007 more details An amazing garden, started from scratch more than 50 years ago.Adult £6.95; Child (accompanied) under 14 free; Friends of the Garden Standard Season Double £38, Single £22Friends of the Garden Gold Season Double £60, Single £38Groups of 25 £6.45Notable guide book for £2.95, garden tours available weekdays, The original site was wasteland consisting of widely contrasting problem areas.There was poor gravel soil, 20 feet deep, dry shade beneath trees, while a sour boggy hollow lay between.Review by Bella D'Arcy Reed - November 2010 Photographs by BDR The gardens at Beth Chatto's used to be accessed via a gate in the plant centre, which wasn't much of a problem, but now there is a ramp into the gardens at the entrance.To get to this you have to cross the dry garden, which is a gravel garden, which for a mobility scooter is fine, but a bit tricky for a wheelchair with a person heavier than 12 stone in it.There was nothing here at all when she arrived here more than 50 years ago, but Beth and her husband Andrew set to work to turn this into the paradise that survives today - seven acres of joy, created out of a neglected hollow that was boggy in parts and arid as a desert elsewhere.Together they pioneered the idea of using plants adapted by nature to problem places, using shade-loving plants in areas with little direct light and drought-tolerant plants in dry places.However you can see the planting in the garden quite adequately for one or two stopping spots - and you don't want to stir the gravel too much...Once you get into the main garden, then you are on grass or paths.The garden here is divided into three main areas - the water garden with its five interlinking ponds, which is a profusion of damp-loving plants, already making progress early in the season; the celebrated Gravel Garden (above), started in 1991 as an experiment to see just how drought-loving plants would respond to one of the driest corners of Britain, and the woodland garden, which was as good as flattened during the 1987 hurricane, but now looks as though it's always been there.Each features plants that thrive naturally in damp, dry or shady conditions and the results inspire visitors from the world over.

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