Norah Lindsay (1866-1948) lived in the Manor House at Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire, England. She was admired for the way that she combined herbaceous perennials in borders, which were so popular during the Edwardian time in England.
In her obituary in 1948 in the London Times it was described how she would trace out a plan for a whole garden in the dirt with the tip of her umbrella. She was known as one of the first amateur, but not quite professional, garden designers who were active in the years before and after World War I.
Strongly influenced by Italian gardens, she was famous for her parterres. One that she planned is still maintained by the National Trust in England today. It was a formal planting using low plants and repetition of colors around a central fountain. Clipped yews and a Doric Temple in the distance added to its feeling of formality and structure.
Norah Lindsay was born in Ireland but always admired the classical gardens of Florence and Rome. She created large-scale double borders that stretched down hillsides to create breath-taking vistas.
Her husband, Harry Lindsay, was a flying hero during World War I, and she was so well-connected that she even advised the Prince of Wales on his gardens at Fort Belvedere.
Lindsay was the Grande Dame of gardening in a time when ladies did not have professional careers.