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Contents P

Foreword by Julia Boulton 6

Introduction 8

1 Under the gooseberry bush 12

2 From Betty to Beth 34

3 Benton End 50 4 White Barn House 63

5 ‘Unusual Plants’ 71 6 Chelsea Gold 90

Travel Notes 1: A trip to Château Mouton Rothschild (1981) 104

7 Friendships and books 112 Travel Notes 2: Beth’s first trip to the US (1983) 130

8 Golden years 146 9 Annus mirabilis 164 10 After the storm 178

Travel Notes 3: A trip to Scotland with Christopher Lloyd (June 1988) 186

11 Honours and opera 194

Travel Notes 4: A trip to Yorkshire and Scotland (September 1988) 200

12 Autumn anthem 204 13 The gardens grow 211

Travel Notes 5: Round the world with Christopher Lloyd (1989) 222

14 Family and friendships 228

15 Falling leaves 242 16 The final years 256 17 Legend and legacy 268

Timeline 274 • Biographies 275 Index 281 • Plan of the Beth Chatto Gardens 286

Acknowledgements 288

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