Watch: This garden is thriving in the heatwave, without any water

Watch: This garden is thriving in the heatwave, without any water
Copyright AP
By Sinead Barry with AP
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Some of the plants have gone without water since the garden was created in 1992.


In spite of the heatwave gripping Europe, Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden is getting by just fine, without any water!

"We would never feed our plants... Once they're in the ground, that's it. They just have to cope with whatever rain we have from above," says Åsa Gregers-Warg, Head Gardener at Beth Chatto Gardens.

The Colchester garden was created in 1992 but the work to get it started began in the 1960s as Chatto transformed overgrown wastelands into world-renowned gardens.

The award-winning plantswoman's philosophy rested on the principle that the only plants that should be grown are the ones suitable to the environment, with no compromises to aesthetics tolerated.

Boulton, who is now the garden's Managing Director said that "as a child, it was just my grandma's garden. It was perfectly normal to me. And it's only really been more recently when I've been living here and working along with the gardeners that I've rarely understood her principles and the magnitude really of what she was doing at that time."

"She was very interested in design and shape and texture. And so for her in the garden, it was very important to think about all of those different things.

So she would have a palette of plants that she could use to suit the conditions. But then she would make choices based on their form and texture and movement, colour - really, you know everything she would be looking at and painting a picture with these plants," continued Boulton.

Chatto's work and the work currently being done in the gardens, has clearly paid off. Some of the plants in the facility haven't been watered since the garden's creation in 1992!

This kind of gardening is "definitely more important in these days when you have these volatile sorts of changes in the weather. One year we have very cold winters, then we have mild winters, we might have a very wet spring, then we might have a very dry spring. Last year we had about 50 days with very hot temperatures and no rain whatsoever. So it's really important to think about how you use water in your garden," said Gregers-Warg.

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Additional sources • Video editor: François Rudolf

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