GARDENING legend Beth Chatto is to be posthumously named as an 'iconic horticultural hero' at the prestigious RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

Mrs Chatto began work on her gardens in Elmstead Market, then just overgrown wasteland, in 1960 and went on to win ten gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show in the space of just 11 years.

She passed away in May last year, aged 94.

The pioneer, who inspired generations of gardeners with her “right plant in the right place” ethos, will be recognised at the garden festival this July.

The annual Hampton Court Palace festival attracts thousands of people from across the world and this year the Royal Horticultural Society will reveal a drought-resistant garden in tribute to Mrs Chatto.

The garden will honour the hugely influential plantswoman as it champions her ethos of sustainable planting when gardening in difficult conditions.

Mrs Chatto vision of sustainable gardening ethos is more relevant now than ever, with gardeners increasingly looking for drought-proof planting inspiration for their own gardens.

Over her lifetime Mrs Chatto also published several gardening books, as well as writing and featuring in numerous books and articles, sharing her deep love and profound knowledge of plants and planting.

Her gardens and nursery, in Clacton Road, are now one of the nation’s favourites and have influenced and inspired a generation of gardeners.

They continue to grow and develop with dedicated and knowledgeable staff, many of whom learnt their trade working alongside Mrs Chatto.

The drought-resistant garden being unveiled at the festival has been designed by Beth Chatto’s Garden and Nursery director David Ward, who worked alongside Mrs Chatto for over 35 years.

It features a range of drought-tolerant plants with the aim of encouraging the next generation of gardeners to consider a style of planting that will ensure our gardens are ready for the future.

David and his team will be on hand at RHS Hampton Court Palace over the duration of the festival to talk to visitors about Beth’s work and ethos, as well as offer advice about the garden and the plants on display.

Julia Boulton, Mrs Chatto’s granddaughter and managing director of gardens, said: “We are delighted that Beth will be honoured at The Hampton Court Garden Festival.

"The festival is one of the highlights of the horticultural calendar and I think Beth would have been over the moon that she is being remembered in such a way.

“David and our team have worked hard on a design and planting style that remains true to Beth’s ethos of “right plant, right place”, and we are looking forward to seeing the display at Hampton Court.

"If you are at the event do come along and see us, look around the garden and find out more about Beth, her life and outstanding contribution to horticulture.”