Sheila Batterbury’s Garden
19 Jul 2006, updated 2009, stored on http://www.simonbatterbury.net/
New Garden website begun Apr 2009 - go to http://sheilabatterbury.co.uk
Green-fingered couple move beloved garden 120 miles.
My Mum, Sheila Batterbury, featured in most of the British national newspapers in the first week of
July 2006, in the midst of a glorious English summer. She is a bit of a character, a former cookery
writer and the author of several cookery books in the 1960s (under the name Sheila Graham).
However over the last 20 years gardening has been her thing. When she moved house from
in Eltham (top pic, middle, left) into the new garden (top and bottom pics).
The media found this very eccentric, and the press descended on her house.
First the local paper in
garden, just prior to it being open to the public to raise money for charity through
the National Gardens Scheme. The interesting feature of the terraced garden is
that it was created from a bare field (see top pic, middle, right hand image) using earth-
moving equipment, lots of local stone, and much hard work.
The story about moving all the plants was taken up by news networks and ended up in the Daily Telegraph,
the Daily Mail, the Mirror, the Express, the Times, the Sun, was reported on BBC
R4's Today programme by John Humphries, and she was interviewed for regional
ITV (HTV). Unfortunately the newspaper reports all contain errors – e.g. my parents did not buy
any land to create the garden, and the actual distance the plants were “moved” is
105 miles (not 150 as the Express and Mirror say).
The story was then translated into various languages including Hungarian and
Swedish, and appears on numerous blog sites and gardening pages worldwide.
I still remember the garden moving process, which is what the papers were
interested in as an example of British eccentricity, but I am not sure why it reached
the news... However the results are certainly very impressive.
Gardening skills have not been inherited by her children!
Garden is featured in the National Gardens Scheme. It is usually open on a couple of
occasions in the British summer.
Contact Sheila Batterbury - Sheila “at” batterbury88.orangehome.co.uk (use @ for “at”) or see her webpage http://sheilabatterbury.co.uk
The making of a Garden Sheila Batterbury 2007.
moved from SE London to Bath in the autumn of 1994. I was loathe to leave my
a garden doesn’t stand still and it is still developing. Each year we work on
Paths wind their way up past the terraces,
past packed flower borders and through shrubberies, over
Coming down the garden you have two
choices. The straight path that runs down from the summerhouse has
On the opposite side of the garden is a
small tool shed and a walled raised bed which we built for
The top terrace is home to a miscellany of
hardy geraniums. They are good ground and flower throughout the
Then its time for tea! Sit awhile on our
Patio. I have a library of garden books if you have questions to
In these troubled times my garden has been described as a peaceful oasis and can be visited in most seasons by appointment.
And before you leave it is worth noticing
the stonework in the front garden.