Section II: Looking at Plants


Original watercolour of Trillium Erectum made by Agnes Chamberlin for Canadian Wild Flowers, c. 1860s

"For his health of mind, it is absolutely essential that every gardener should uproot himself from his own patch, now and again, to go and see how other people are doing it, what their problems and interests are, how they approach the subject of gardening and with what result."

Christopher Lloyd. “Recharging your batteries” in In My Garden, edited by Frank Ronan London: Bloomsbury, 1993. The article was first published in Country Life 11 August 1966.


Plate depicting tulips, detached from the ‘Spring’ sequence of Hortus Floridus, 1614

While we can learn a great deal about the nature and care of plants from the written word, reading can never take the place of seeing the living plants for ourselves, both in their native habitats and in garden settings. Christopher Lloyd who gardened at Great Dixter from boyhood, took time throughout his life to observe plants in the wild, and to visit gardens wherever he travelled. He was taken to Munstead Wood and introduced to Gertrude Jekyll as a child, and he and his mother were frequent visitors to Vita Sackville West (1892–1962) at nearby Sissinghurst. Lloyd accompanied Anna Pavord to Turkey to study species tulips while she was researching her book on the subject, and he was always on the lookout for wild plants wherever he travelled.

Section II: Looking at Plants