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


As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Writing a Garden Catalog
Writing a Garden Catalog

Leave a Comment