Norah Lindsay

Nancy Lindsay

Nancy Lindsay (1896-1973) was the only daughter of Norah and Harry Lindsay. She grew up among the privileged class, was greatly influenced by her mother’s gardening interests, and by her mother’s circle of friends, many of whom were involved in the world of gardening, literature, and politics. Nancy’s interests in gardening were more horticultural in nature than her mother’s. She formed a strong bond with her mother’s good friend, Lawrence “Johnny” Johnston based upon their common interest in plant collecting. When Johnston died in 1958 he left his estate in France, Serre de la Madone, to Nancy Lindsay.

Nancy Lindsay chose to live a bohemian, controversial, eccentric, and sometimes difficult life as a plant collector, nursery owner, traveler, artist and gardener.

She left some of her writings, paintings, and plants to Oxford University where her legacy lives on in the form of a small commemorative fund celebrating her dedication to plant collecting. This fund was established to finance the participation of women wishing to accompany planthunting expeditions led from the University. The money is held in trust and small sums are awarded annually to ‘enable lady students or lady staff of the Botanic Garden in Oxford to travel abroad, study plants and/or bring plant material back for the Botanic Garden and/or the Department of Plant Sciences.’

If you know of any information about Nancy Lindsay, the plants she collected and grew, her clients, her involvement with the National Trust and Lawrence “Johnny” Johnston’s estate, Hidcote Manor, Gloucestershire, or her involvement at Serre de la Madone in Menton, France, please email:

About Nancy Lindsay