Christopher Lloyd was one of the finest of all English gardeners - ranked alongside Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. His creation is the garden at Great Dixter in 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 o4m. to preserve it for the nation. It was Christo's father who in 1910 bought the medieval manor house at Dixter and called in Lutyens to renovate it. Apart from school, War-service and a period teaching in a horticultural college, Christo spent his whole life at Dixter, creating the garden, writing his seminal books (on clematis and planting and meadow flowers and all manner of gardening ideas) and his argumentative gardening columns in the Guardian. This fascinating book reveals what made Christo tick by examining his relationship with his mother (known as The Management, she was a formidable presence at Dixter), his friends (including Beth Chatto with whom he exchanged 1,000s of frank lette
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.