Christopher Lloyd (also known as Christo , , Christo , )

Christopher Lloyd was a writer, horticulturalist and gardener active in the 20th and 21st centuries.

He was born in Northiam, East Sussex, England on 2 March 1921, the youngest of six children of the architect Nathaniel Lloyd and his wife, Daisy Field, owners of the Great Dixter estate.

Lloyd was educated in England at Rugby School. He later attended King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a degree in modern languages and Wye College, Kent, which he enrolled in after serving in the army during the Second World War and where, at the age of 27, he took a degree in horticulture.

Lloyd later taught decorative horticulture at Wye College from 1950 to 1954. Afterward he returned home to start a plant nursery at Great Dixter.

From 1963-2005 Lloyd wrote a weekly column in Country Life magazine. He also wrote articles in the The Observer Magazine, The Garden and The Guardian as well as many successful gardening books, the most well known of which are The Mixed Border (1957), Clematis (1965) and The Well-Tempered Garden (1970).

Lloyd also penned Foliage Plants (1973) and The Year at Great Dixter (1987) as well as the more recent titles Garden Flowers from Seed with Graham Rice, (1991), Dear Friend and Gardener, an exchange of letters with Beth Chatto (1998), Gardener Cook (1998), Colour for Adventurous Gardeners (2001), Meadows (2004) and Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners (2005).

It is for these, for the wit, strong opinions, innovative gardening and love of colour they betray, and for the transformations he brought about in the gardens at Great Dixter, which he had inherited upon the death of his mother in 1972, in particular, the work he carried out in the early-1990s with the help of Fergus Garrett, that Lloyd is perhaps best remembered. To help secure Great Dixter for the future, Lloyd set up the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.

Lloyd died in East Sussex on 27 January 2006, aged 84. He died unmarried, without an heir, and without any memorial service. Lloyd forbade the latter asking instead for a party to celebrate what would have been his 85th year.

Sources:

National Portrait Gallery, Search the Collections, Search the Gallery's Collection, Sitter 'Christopher Lloyd', Christopher Lloyd (1921-2006), Horticulturalist, gardener and writer, NPG P1026(27) < http://www.npg.org.uk > [accessed 29 September 2008]

Times Online, Obituary, 'Christopher Lloyd', The Times, 30 January 2006 < http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article722518.ece > [accessed 29 September 2008]

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