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Christopher Lloyd's Gardening Year takes us through a year in the gardening life of one of the world's most admired gardening writers and garden-makers; and it does much more than that. As he leads the reader around his garden at Great Dixter, month by month, Christopher Lloyd presents an encyclopedic account of hundreds of plants, enthusiastically introducing readers to the rarer varieties and casting new light on well-loved or familiar ones, and he passes on all the useful practical information - about pruning, about watering, about happy successes, about his own sorry failures - that any gardener loves to be told. He does this with style, with humour, with the outspoken expression of opinion for which he is renowned, and with perception: "All gardening is a simulation; we deceive the plants and we beguile ourselves."
Beautifully written, and illustrated throughout with Jonathan Buckley's superb photographs of the garden and the plants, Christopher Lloyd's Gardening Year is also an exciting read. The author remains the most innovative and imaginative of gardeners, whether he is creating an American prairie to complement his English orchard and meadows or tearing up the 80-year old, Lutyens-designed rose garden and replacing it with a dramatic tropical-looking exotic garden. As he says, he is "always experimenting." As he approaches his ninth decade his ideas, his plans and his pen are as fresh, forward-looking and iconoclastic as they ever were.