Cuttings is a selection of Christopher Lloyd's journalism in the Guardian, arranged to take the reader through the seasons from January to December. Christopher Lloyd was the grand old man of British gardening and gardening writers. From 1989 until 2006 - when he died aged 84 - he produced his Guardian column from his beloved house and garden, Great Dixter in East Sussex. His knowledge as a plantsman was prodigious, yet he wrote in an easy, direct and vigorous manner, advising, entertaining and cajoling his readers as he guided them through the gardening year. In January, he recommended the purchase of a notebook with a weatherproof cover since 'the dead season is just the moment for the fun of catalogue browsing'. Nothing was too small for his sharply observant eye- 'Paving cracks colonised with little plants add a touch of magic to the garden. Once you start experimenting, you'll get carried along. Just see.' Preparing the ground, planting for summer scent, choosing a shrub for all-year round pleasure, pruning, going organic, cottage gardens, placing a favourite hellebore, thinking about conifers or growing your own veg - all fell within his purview. And, in everything he wrot
Christopher Lloyd, the youngest of six children, was born at Great Dixter. Educated at Rugby and Cambridge, he served in the army during the war before taking a BSc in horticulture at Wye College, where he also worked as a lecturer. In 1954, he returned to Great Dixter to set up a nursery specialising in unusual plants. He published numerous influential books including The Mixed Border as well as Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners, a collaboration with his head gardener, Fergus Garrett. He was awarded an honourary doctorate from the Open University and an OBE for his services to horticulture, but it was the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH) which gave him the greatest satisfaction.