Writing a Garden Catalog
by Beth Chatto
Since before Christmas, I have been nibbling, in odd moments, at my new catalog. I try to write word pictures of plants, which might make them irresistible.
When I began the nursery twenty years ago, I issued a very small list with descriptions of plants, as I saw them, in place of photographs which I could not have afforded.
My catalog has grown with the nursery over the years, but there are still no pretty pictures.
I have not actually gone into the cost because, while I know they might help some readers, I myself, deep down, do not want to change.
I am very attracted by good photographs in other catalogs, but I find I easily forget them. It is the difference between watching television and listening to a good radio play.
I can take the works of the best writers and gardeners, such as Vita Sackville-West, Graham S. Thomas, or Christopher Lloyd, to bed and be lost till midnight, reading their thoughts and seeing their plants and gardens as a musician hears music reading a score.
— Beth Chatto, garden writer and gardener, Beth Chatto's Garden Notebook, January
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