|About Norah||Clients||Circle of Friends||Design Principles|
Excerpt from the book
Norah Bourke Lindsay, (1873-1948) British garden designer, was the charming and beautiful daughter of an upper class family who lived her entire life among England’s country house elite. She lunched with Winston Churchill, gardened for the Prince of Wales, holidayed with Edith Wharton, and hobnobbed with Hollywood’s Merle Oberon, David Niven, and Vivien Leigh. She was beautiful, musical, artistically talented, high spirited, and a great conversationalist. A consummate hostess, she mingled with the political and social luminaries of the era, all of whom were captivated by her clever repartee and quick wit. In 1904 her home, the Manor House of Sutton Courtenay, overflowed with garden beds filled with flowers, guest room beds filled with friends, and rowing boats on the Thames filled with the handsome youth of the day – many of them the young men of Oxford University. Weekends spent in the company of Norah Lindsay were always filled with laughter and music, glorious meals, and non-stop outdoor activities.
In 1924, at the age of 51, with her marriage having fallen apart and with her financial situation dire, she put her garden design skills to use and embarked upon a garden design career that continued for the next two decades. Her commissions ranged from manor houses on the country lanes of England, and grand aristocratic estates, to royal gardens on the Continent. Her client base consisted of royalty, English nobility, and American expatriates.
‘Norah Lindsay was one of the most instinctive gardeners of this generation. I wish that she had written more about it in the manner that old William Robinson did. Miss Jekyll had held the day in garden literature, and there was no one of quite the same calibre to follow her. I think that Norah Lindsay could have done that, and if she had written one-tenth as amusingly as she talked, she would have become a best-seller….Her monument must be in very truth the gardens that she has made, and would that they could retain their first pristine touch of genius that put scents and colours in their places…Norah Lindsay dealt with the sheer effect of it all.’
- Philip Tilden, the architect, from his book True Remembrances published 1954
About Norah Lindsay