Born: March 2, 1921, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Died: January 27, 2006, Hastings, United Kingdom
Education: Wye College
University of Cambridge
Lived: Great Dixter, Northiam, Rye TN31 6PH, UK (50.99665, 0.59176)
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Great Dixter was the home of the gardener and writer Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd spent his life at Great Dixter, where he created a widely-admired garden. An internationally known gardener, his writing influenced garden styles of the XX century.
Address: Northiam, Rye TN31 6PH, UK (50.99665, 0.59176)
Type: Museum (open to public)
Phone: +44 1797 252878
English Heritage Building ID: 411593 (Grade I, 1961)
Great Dixter is a house in Northiam, East Sussex, England. It was built in 1910–12 by architect Edwin Lutyens, who combined an existing mid-15th century house on the site with a similar structure brought from Benenden, Kent, together with his own additions. The garden, widely known for its continuous tradition of sophisticated plantsmanship, is Grade I listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The original Northiam house, known as Dixter, dating from the mid-XV century, was acquired by a businessman named Nathaniel Lloyd in 1909. He had a XVI-century house in a similar style moved from Kent and the two were combined with new work by Lutyens to create a much larger house, which was rechristened Great Dixter. It is a romantic recreation of a medieval manor house, complete with great hall, parlour, solar and yeoman's hall. Lloyd and Lutyens began the garden at Great Dixter, but it was Lloyd's son Christopher Lloyd, a well known garden writer and television personality, who made it famous. The garden is in the arts and crafts style, and features topiary, a long border, an orchard and a wild flower meadow. The planting is profuse, yet structured, and has featured many bold experiments of form, colour and combination. The garden is currently managed by Fergus Garrett, who worked closely with Lloyd up until his death in 2006 as Head Gardener and introduced a number of innovations into the planting scheme. In the grounds of Great Dixter are three XVIII-century oast houses, under a common roof, and a XV-century barn. The house and garden are open to the public for part of the year. Study days, workshops and lectures are held frequently. A charity called the Great Dixter Charitable Trust has been established to ensure that the property is preserved.
Who: Christopher Hamilton Lloyd, OBE (March 2, 1921 – January 27, 2006)
Christopher Lloyd was a British gardener and author. He was the XX Century chronicler for the heavily planted, labour-intensive, country garden. 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 designer of posters and other images for confectionery companies), purchased 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 the garden himself, and imparted that love to his son. Lloyd learned the skills required of a gardener from his mother Daisy, who did the actual gardening and who introduced him to Gertrude Jekyll. 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 where he says: “For it is an indisputable fact that appreciation of foliage comes at a later stage in our education, if it comes at all”.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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