Plantswoman Beth Chatto has received a top honour in recognition of her lifetime’s contribution to British gardening.

Author and gardener Beth, now 91, won the John Brookes Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Garden Designers last month.

Beth founded Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex on the site of a former family fruit farm in 1960.

The estate now comprises a gravel garden, woodland garden, water garden, reservoir garden and nursery.

TV gardener Christine Walkden filmed an episode of her Glorious Gardens from Above series at Beth Chatto Gardens last summer.

Beth, who published her first book The Dry Garden in 1978, is famous for her gardening motto: “right plant, right place”.

Managing director of Beth Chatto gardens, Beth’s grand-daughter Julia Boulton, collected the award on Beth’s behalf.

Julia said: “Beth was thrilled. She is pleased to have inspired so many gardeners to use a broader, more naturalistic pallet of plants that grow in harmony with their settings.”

Chair of the Society of Garden Designers, Philippa O’Brien, said: “Beth has influenced generations of gardeners and garden designers through her passion for plants, her ecological approach and her inspired garden writing.”

Philippa added that Beth is considered “the guru of shade planting”.