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gardening should be free from constraint

NATIVE PLACES

A COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS AND IMAGES BY FRANK HARMON

Great Dixter
 
Christopher Lloyd (1922-2006) was born and raised at Great Dixter, a rambling, 15th century manor house in Northiam, East Sussex. He inherited a love of gardening from his mother. After studying horticulture at Wye College he returned to Great Dixter to start a plant nursery. Then he  remade his mother's garden into a work of art.
 
Christo, as he was called, was a meticulous record keeper. He inspected his plants twice a day and recorded the results in a weatherproof notebook. When visitors asked the name of a plant, he refused to tell them unless they had notebooks in which to jot it down. But his greatest principle was that gardening should be free from constraint.
 
Sissinghurst Castle near Dixter was the epitome of constraint: Its owner planted one entire garden solely in white flowers. But Christo loved mixing pink Daphne with orange-yellow Crocus.“The two colours may be shouting at each other,” he wrote, “but they are shouting for joy.”
 
Christo delayed mowing the front lawn at Great Dixter until autumn. He wanted native orchids and fritillaries to grow there, and he hoped to enjoy the smells of Myrtle and grass that would waft through the house.
 
"Gardening, like living," he said, "should be fun."


See a second sketch here: http://nativeplaces.org/post/110819949966/great-dixter-christopher-lloyd-1922-2006-was