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Christopher Lloyd His Life at Great Dixter by Stephen Anderton
  

Christopher Lloyd His Life at Great Dixter

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Stephen Anderton knew Christopher Lloyd very well and this personal friendship and knowledge adds a considerable layer to the detail of the book. You instantly notice the difference; personal memories, observed detail and understanding of his subject make this a very superior biography. There are three themes - Christopher Lloyd’s own story, the house and garden of Great Dixter and the influence of Daisy, his fearsome Mother. The author weaves these themes together into a most satisfying and informative whole.

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Synopsis

Christopher Lloyd His Life at Great Dixter by Stephen Anderton

Christopher Lloyd (Christo) was one of the greatest English gardeners of the twentieth century, perhaps the finest plantsman of them all. His creation is the garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex, and it is a tribute to his vision and achievement that, after his death in 2006, the Heritage Lottery Fund made a grant of GBP4 million to help preserve it for the nation. This enjoyable and revealing book - the first biography of Christo - is also the story of Dixter from 1910 to 2006, a unique unbroken history of one English house and one English garden spanning a century. It was Christo's father, Nathaniel, who bought the medieval manor at Dixter and called in the fashionable Edwardian architect, Lutyens, to rebuild the house and lay out the garden. And it was his mother, Daisy, who made the first wild garden in the meadows there. Christo was born at Dixter in 1921. Apart from boarding school, war service and a period at horticultural college, he spent his whole life there, constantly re-planting and enriching the garden, while turning out landmark books and exhaustive journalism. Opinionated, argumentative and gloriously eccentric, he changed the face of English gardening through his passions for meadow gardening, dazzling colours and thorough husbandry. As the baby of a family of six - five boys and a girl - Christo was stifled by his adoring mother. Music-loving and sports-hating, he knew the Latin names of plants before he was eight. This fascinating book reveals what made Christo tick by examining his relationships with his generous but scheming mother, his like-minded friends (such as gardeners Anna Pavord and Beth Chatto) and his colleagues (including his head gardener, Fergus Garrett, a plantsman in Christo's own mould).


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Reviews

Christopher Lloyd was already a legend in his lifetime, and this intimate biography adds vivid colour as provocative and challenging as the eye-widening combinations in Christopher's borders.

This portrait is so alive, so evocative of his vitality, 'naughtiness
and untold generosity, that it hurts to be reminded of what we have lost.

-- Beth Chatto [Christopher Lloyd's] reputation as the finest plantsman of the 20th century is underscored in Anderton's affectionate biography of a shy, irascible man who applied a modern sensibility and a personal genius to gardening -- Iain Finlayson * The Times * An unputdownable autobiography -- Victoria Summerley * Independent * A rollicking and compulsive read. Anderton's writing is lithe and perky, especially when it comes to the Lloyd family foibles and dysfunctions. His words dance around these with feline agility. * thinkinggardens.co.uk * Stephen Anderton is a clever and witty writer and well known for his lively take on gardening -- Mary Keen * Daily Telegraph *


About the Author

Stephen Anderton, who knew Christopher Lloyd well for over twenty years, is a gardening writer whose books include Rejuvenating a Garden, Urban Sanctuaries and Discovering Welsh Gardens. He is gardening correspondent of The Times and formerly National Gardens Manager for English Heritage. Stephen Anderton has had access for the first time to Christo's chaotic, 100-year archive of papers relating to the house, garden and family.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd March 2011

Author

Stephen Anderton

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Publisher

Pimlico an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
256 pages

Categories

Gardening
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Biography: general
Gardening

ISBN

9781845950965

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