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Christopher Lloyd has been writing a weekly column in Country Life since 1963 and, until now, this wealth of garden literature has been denied to a wider public. There are many garden writers, but few whose work can be considered to have the status of literature. There is only one who has achieved this at the same time as delivering horticultural information which enlightens even the most erudite of plantsmen, and that is Christopher Lloyd. His prose is exciting; his knowledge is vast; his ideas are provocative, and what is the true test of a writer who has transcended his medium, he makes you laugh out loud. In this selection from the storehouse of Christopher Lloyd's prose it will be apparent to what a high degree he has influenced gardening in our times. The book will capture the essence of Christopher Lloyd and of his garden at Great Dixter.
Christopher Lloyd was born in 1921 at Great Dixter, Sussex. He read modern languages at King's College, Cambridge and later took a B.Sc. degree in decorative horticulture at Wye College, University of London. In 1954 he returned to Great Dixter in Northiam, near Rye, where he started a nursery for clematis and other plants. From the early 1950s the manor house which was bought in 1910 by his father, Nathaniel Lloyd, was opened regularly to the public. Christopher was a pioneer and famously outspoken and critical of unimaginative gardening. In 1979 he was given the highest award of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Victoria Medal of Honour. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 1996 and was appointed OBE in 2000. He was a regular contributor to Country Life, the Guardian and the Observer. Lloyd will be remembered longest for his many books. The Mixed Border first appeared in 1957, followed by Clematis in 1965 and The Well-Tempered Garden in 1970. His many books have remained in print over the decades and are read worldwide. He launched a trend himself with his book Foliage Plants (1973) and in the 1990s, when in his late seventies, was leading fashion by the nose towards the use of subtropical plants in his exotic garden at Great Dixter. He loved to mix the old and the new in all spheres, and would regularly commission modern furniture for the ancient interiors of Great Dixter. Cooking was a passion for Lloyd cooking expertly for great numbers and his book, Gardener Cook was published in 1998. Christopher died on 27th January, 2006 aged 84.