Christopher Lloyd, the youngest of 6 children, was born at Great Dixter, a Lutyens house and garden, where his father designed the sunken garden and planted the yew hedges and his formidable mother (known at Great Dixter as "the Management") taught him to garden. Educated at Rugby and Cambridge, he served in the army during the war before taking a BS in horticulture at Wye College, where he also worked as a lecturer. He served in the Army during the war, but in 1954, he returned to set up a nursery specialising in unusual plants in Great Dixter, where he lived for the rest of his long life. He published numerous very successful gardening books, and made a name for himself as the foremost British gardener and British garden writer of his generation. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University and an OBE for his services to horticulture, but it was the Royal Horticultural Societies Victoria Medal of Honor (VMH) that gave him the greatest satisfaction. He died, aged 84, in 2006. His previous books include The Well-Tempered Garden and Succession Planting for Year-Round Pleasure, a collaboration with his head gardener, Fergus Garrett.
Preface by Beth Chatto, who has won 10 consecutive gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show. In 1960, she began Beth Chatto Gardens, which she created from a wasteland in Essex. She collaborated with Christopher Lloyd in publishing their letters in book form (Dear Friend and Gardener, 1998).
Introduction by Stephen Anderton, who - at the request of Christopher Lloyd himself - is writing the official biography, with the suppport of the Trustees of Great Dixter. Previously manager of historica garden restoration projects for English Heritage, Stephen Anderton is a freelance garden journalist, author and lecturer. He writes a weekly column for The Times.