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Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Hamilton Lloyd, OBE

Born 2 March 1921; Died 27 January 2006

Gardener and Author

The author of a string of classic books and regular weekly articles in Country Life, he was, until his death, gardening correspondent of the Guardian. His garden at Great Dixter, in east Sussex, gave pleasure to thousands of visitors and provided a springboard for conveying ideas - successes and disappointments - to his readers in a relaxed and non-technical manner.

One of six children, Lloyd was born at Great Dixter.  His father, Nathaniel Lloyd bought Great Dixter in 1910, and commissioned Edwin Lutyens to restore and add to its 15th-century buildings. Lutyens also set out the framework of the garden as an array of formal spaces, which still exist today.

In 1957, after experimenting with Dixter's long border, Christopher wrote his first book, The Mixed Border, propounding the then revolutionary idea of combining shrubbery and herbaceous border. In 1965 came two further books, now modern classics: Clematis (with John Treasure), and Trees and Shrubs for Small Gardens, both of which combined technical knowledge with a humorous and informed sense of English style. In May 1963, he was persuaded by Arthur Hellyer to start his Country Life column.

As a result of Christopher's writing, Great Dixter is the most documented of gardens, its most celebrated feature being the immense mixed border, measuring 210ft x 15ft, planned for midsummer, but in reality extending from April to October.


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