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The Dry Garden Paperback – 19 Jun 1998


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The Dry Garden + Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden + The Damp Garden
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (19 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075281642X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752816425
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The classic guide for gardeners, reissued with a beautiful new look.

About the Author

Beth Chatto runs her own Garden and Nursery for Unusual Plants at Elmstead Market, near Colchester. She has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Victoria Medal of Honour and the Lawrence Memorial Medal. In 1988 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Essex University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is not always obvious, especially to new gardeners, that some plants do not take kindly to being pushed into the nearest empty space. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Beth Chatto is not only one of the most talented gardeners of her generation, but her books are a fantastic source of carefully researched information for other gardeners. This is garden writing for the more determined reader: you will either need to recognise the plants by their Latin names since there are no pictures, or else you will have to be prepared to look them up as you read. I did the latter, and I learned more by reading this book and studying the plants than from almost any other gardening book I have ever read. I garden in a south-facing garden of silty, sandy soil with the typically low rainfall of SW London, and I really struggled to know what would thrive when we moved here many years ago. But Mrs Chatto taught me well. I will never be able to arrange my planting to look even fractionally as beautiful as Mrs Chatto's, but from this book and her later book 'Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden' I know what will grow happily for me. I no longer waste money and time on plants that hate my conditions - there are a huge number which love my Mediterranean-like garden and look wonderful with the little attention I have to spare for them. (And I rarely lose plants in a cold winter because they don't suffer frost damage the way more water-loving plants do.) (Another good source of information is Nicola Ferguson's 'Right Plant, Right Place' which lists a good number of plants that like to be dry.) This review is based on the 1998 revised edition published in that year.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
To today's eyes, this book looks old-fashioned, even boring. Don't be fooled. Chatto was the first gardener to popularise "ecological" gardening - grouping plants by their natural habitat, and suiting them to the habitats your garden has to offer. This modest handbook will still prove exceptionally useful to anyone gardening on thin, dry soils.

The first half of the book is devoted to Chatto's excellent advice on getting the best results from dry soil, enlivened with anecdotes about her own experimants and solutions, and interspersed with planting schemes for various situations - designs are given for an open sunny island bed, for instance, and then for a dry shady one. Chatto describes how she grows her own plants, and which have done best in different positions. Her style is relaxed, informal and very easy to read.

The second half of the book is an alphabetical list of suitable plants, with descriptions and suggestions for their best place in the garden. The index at the back helps you find mentions of particular plants in the first part.

I have the 1981 edition, and the real drawback of this is a lack of the kind of illustrations we take for granted today. There are line drawings of the planting schemes, and a modest number of black and white photos, very little help. However the book is so well researched and well written, it is worth reading it with a pictorial reference like the RHS encyclopaedia by one's side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Ennion on 3 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A practical ,knowledgable enthusiastic guide but I do wish the paper was smoother as rough paper yellows and is marked by handling frequently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J L on 19 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i would recommend this book to any one who has got a dry, stoney garden as it helps you to understand what will grow. I now have a plan to fill my garden with lots of plants .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Smith on 14 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book which was bought as a gift and was very well received by the intended audience. To say "over the moon" is an understatement.
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Format: Paperback
I live in Suffolk, on sandy soil, and my garden is painfully dry. I've been to Beth Chatto's gardens at Elmstead Market (thoroughly recommend them) and bought this as a 2nd hand bargain through Amazon. I'd hoped for information about plants and I'm very pleased with what's in here. What i hadn't expected is Ms Chatto's engaging style and the lite anecdotes that are most encouraging.

The book was first printed in 1978 and the photos are in black and white. Don't let that put you off. You don't need attractive photos and glossy pages because what you get here is sound expertise. Invaluable.
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