"Opening the wicket gate was almost the best moment of all, the porch standing wonkily ahead, the garden familiar, yet always surprising." -- Anna Pavord
Great Dixter is a place of pilgrimage for gardeners all over the world, its exuberant, individualistic style inspiring legions of green-fingered visitors. Yet the impact of Christopher Lloyd's unique creation extents way beyond the gardening world and affects all who pass through it in a very particular way.
In this intimate collection of written and photographic contributions, Christopher Lloyd's wide circle of family and friends describe what Great Dixter means to them. Food, poetry, music and plants feature large with one guest recounting the delight of eating an exquisitely cooked turbot and another how a bloom of magnolia was analysed with botanical precision during the course of dinner. Visitors remember the feel of the centuries-old floorboards underfoot, the thrill of waking early to peer out on topiary enshrouded in fog and many describe how, in one way or another, Great Dixter changed their lives.
This valuable record encapsulates what makes time spent at Great Dixter in particular, and to some extent time spent in all gardens, so irreplaceable. It adds an important layer to our understanding of Christopher Lloyd's achievements and a reminder that each of us takes away something different from a visit to Great Dixter and that it remains with us long after we have left the gates.
There are treats galore within the pages of Dear Christo ... a comfort read for fans of the late Christopher Lloyd.
This coffee-table book can be compared to your favourite box of chocolates, full of wonderful small chunks to be savoured over time. The title suggests a book full of warming affection and it does not disappoint. [...] This book wonderfully entwines both Dixter and Christo into an evocative priceless treasure; I too now feel part of the extended family. Please savour the Dixter magic for yourselves.
Dear Christo is a collection of reminiscences about Christo, Dixter and his dachshunds, written by the good and the great of the gardening, food and musical worlds.
Christopher had an extraordinary gift for friendship, evident in Dear Christo (Timber Press £18.99), a collection of pictures and memories both of the man and Dixter itself.
The picture of Lloyd and Fergus Garrett embracing fraternally in the porch at Dixter, must be the most touching image ever recorded of an owner and gardener.
I certainly need a constant top-dressing of gossip. This year it is available from friends and acquaintances of the late Christopher Lloyd in Dear Christo (Timber Press £18.99), a collection of telling memories of the great gardener and his home at Great Dixter in Sussex.
This collection of reminiscences of Christopher Lloyd by a cross section of close friends – professional and student gardeners, plantsmen and admirers from home and abroad – is a reminder of just how many people, of different ages and backgrounds, he inspired and touched.
Taking its inspiration from a truly memorable character, this charming book brings together numerous short remembrances gathered from a remarkably wide cast-list of friends and acquaintances... Dear Christo takes the reader as close as possible to actually sharing the experience of visiting Great Dixter and spending time enjoying its subject's legendary hospitality.
The book is a joy - I laughed out loud at places and was close to tears at others. I know feel that I know a little more of the character of the man who has inspired me to trust my instincts in the garden and rely less of the text books. I wished I had met him but Dear Christo will have to suffice and one day I may get to visit Great Dixter.
Lloyd could be as irascible as his dachshunds, but his bark was worse than his bite (not the same for the dogs, who were forever taking nips out of people's ankles), and he is remembered here as a warm and generous man who inspired all friends of all ages.
Anybody who has ever been touched by Great Dixter would love this book.
These personal stories beautifully invoke the atmosphere of the historic house, exquisite gardens and the rather eccentric nature of the man himself. Contributors describe Lloyd as a kind and generous person and are obviously in awe of his knowledge and experience but many were also perhaps a little nervous in his company as he was also famous for having a forthright nature and very strong opinions. Some describe actions and comments that seem rather rude yet obviously he had something special which ensured he made friends for life. The memories are funny, endearing and entertaining yet at no time overly sentimental.
This is one of those books which will delight in its warmth and charm, the more so because it commemorates a wonderful gardener, the late Christopher Lloyd - Christo to his friends - whose garden at Great Dixter has become a place of pilgrimage for gardeners all over the world. The book contains contributions from a wide variety of Christo's garden friends and associates including Anna Pavord, Alan Titchmarsh and Dan Pearson and the warmth of their memories and observations shines through every page. There are also some brilliant photographs...A delightful read and a really fitting testament to a great gardener.