|Born||2 March 1921|
Northiam, East Sussex, United Kingdom
|Died||27 January 2006 (aged 84)|
Hastings, United Kingdom
Christopher "Christo" Hamilton Lloyd, OBE (2 March 1921 – 27 January 2006) was an English gardener and a gardening author of note, as the 20th-century chronicler for thickly planted, labour-intensive country gardening.
Lloyd was born in Great Dixter, into an upper-middle-class family, the youngest of six children. In 1910, his father, Nathaniel Lloyd, an Arts and Crafts architect, author, printer and designer of posters and other images for confectionery firms,), bought Great Dixter, a manor house in Northiam, East Sussex near the south coast of England. Edwin Lutyens was hired to renovate and extend the house and advise on the structure of the garden. Nathaniel Lloyd loved gardens, designed some of this one himself, and passed that love on to his son. Lloyd learned the skills required of a gardener from his mother Daisy, who did the actual gardening and introduced him as a young boy to Gertrude Jekyll, who was a considerable influence on Lloyd, in particular with respect to "mixed borders". His mother Daisy, to whom he had remained close his entire life, died at Great Dixter on 9 June 1972, aged 91.
After Wellesley House (Broadstairs) and Rugby School, he attended King's College, Cambridge, where he read modern languages before entering the Army during World War II. After the war he received his bachelors in Horticulture from Wye College, University of London, in 1950. He stayed on there as an assistant lecturer in horticulture until 1954.
In 1954, Lloyd moved home to Great Dixter and set up a nursery specialising in unusual plants. He regularly opened the house and gardens to the public. Lloyd did not do all of the gardening himself, but, like his parents, employed a staff of gardeners. In 1991, Fergus Garrett became his head gardener, and continued in that role after Lloyd's death.
In 1979 Lloyd received the Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award of the Royal Horticultural Society, for his promotion of gardening and his extensive work on their Floral Committee. In 1996, Lloyd was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University. In 2000, he was appointed as an officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Today, the Garden is run by a trust under the direction of Fergus Garrett.
Lloyd was a great-grandson of Edwin Wilkins Field, a law-reforming solicitor, and the great uncle of Christopher Lloyd, the author of numerous non-fiction books, including the popular What on Earth? Happened from the Big Bang to the Present Day and a series of children's historical Wallbook titles.
Lloyd was firmly rooted in the Arts and Crafts style of garden. In most ways he was, like his mother and Gertrude Jekyll, a practical gardener. He said "I couldn't design a garden. I just go along and carp." Despite his extensive work with flowers, he had an appreciation for the garden as a whole. He also understood human nature. One professional gardener likes to quote Lloyd from his book Foliage Plants on how "it is an indisputable fact that appreciation of foliage comes at a later stage in our education, if it comes at all."
Lloyd rapidly felt the need to share his gardening discoveries and published The Mixed Border in 1957, which was followed by Clematis in 1965, and The Well-Tempered Garden in 1970. Lloyd had begun a book on the use of exotic plants in British gardens when he died. This his gardening friends and colleagues completed as Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners in 2007.
In Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond, published in 2004, Lloyd explored the use of meadow land around his own house.
Notes and references
- "Obituary: Christopher Lloyd"". The Times. London, UK. 30 January 2006. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
- "Nathaniel Lloyd". Historic England Archive. Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom: The National Archives.
- Buchan, Ursula (11 February 2006). "Gardeners' Gardener". The Spectator. Vol. 300, no. 9262. pp. 46–47. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021.
- "About the Author: Christopher Lloyd". Flagstaff, Arizona: Brightside Books. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021.
- "Liven Up Your Long Border". Fine Gardening. No. 131. March 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021.
- Hind, Charles (2 November 1995). "Great Dixter, Sussex" (PDF). Country Life. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 April 2021.
- Goldman, Lawrence, ed. (2013). "Lloyd, Christopher". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 698–699. ISBN 978-0-19-967154-0.
- Druse, Ken (31 January 2006). "Christopher Lloyd, 84, a Gardener of Wit, Unafraid to Break the Rules, Dies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018.
- Keith, Teri (12 December 2015). "Christopher Lloyd, gardener extraordinaire". The Herald-Times. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021.
- Plant Committees of the Royal Horticultural Society Archived 2006-12-30 at the Wayback Machine The Floral Committee was subsequently divided into Floral A, Floral B, etc., and then reorganized as the various Plant Committees.
- Meehan, Meagan (20 November 2018). "Absolutely Everything: Interview with Bestselling Author Christopher Lloyd". Kidskintha.
- "Writer and gardener dies aged 84". BBC News. 28 January 2006.
- ""Gardening Advice: Garden Design" Royal Horticultural Society". Archived from the original on 30 December 2006.
- Lloyd, Christopher Hamilton (1957), The Mixed Border W. H. & L. Collingridge, London, UK. Printed in a new edition for The Royal Horticultural Society in 1986 and 1991.
- Lloyd, Christopher (1965), Clematis Country Life, London, UK. Reprinted by Capability's Books in 1989.
- Lloyd, Christopher (1970) The Well-Tempered Garden Collins, London, UK, ISBN 0-00-211929-3. Reprinted by Viking in 1985 and Weidenfeld & Nicolson Illustrated in 2003.
- Donald, Caroline ( (25 November 2007). "The Sunday Times best books 2007: gardening". The Sunday Times. p. 54.
- Wilson, Kendra (7 April 2016). "Required Reading: Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond". Gardenista. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019.
- Alexander, Rosemary; et al. (2010). Dear Christo: Memories of Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter. London: Timber Press. ISBN 978-1-60469-223-5.
- Anderton, Stephen (2010). Christopher Lloyd: His life at Great Dixter. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-8113-0.
- Pavord, Anna (2010). The view from Great Dixter: Christopher Lloyd's garden legacy. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. ISBN 978-1-60469-215-0.