November 10, 2003 by

C.Z. Guest

8 comments

Categories: Writers/Editors

C.Z. Guest, a New York Post gardening columnist and author, died on Nov. 8 from natural causes. She was 82.
Born Lucy Douglas Cochrane, Guest was called “Sissy” by her siblings. She later turned the nickname into her own initialed moniker.
After graduating from the Fermata School in Aiken, S.C., and acting on Broadway with the Ziegfeld Follies, Guest married Winston Churchill’s second cousin, polo player Winston Frederick Churchill Guest. The couple was well known in New York social circles, and Guest became good friends with author Truman Capote, who also wrote the introduction to one of her books.
In 1978, Guest was offered a weekly gardening column in the New York Post. It was eventually syndicated in 350 U.S. newspapers. Guest also served as the commissioner general of the American garden exhibit of the International Garden Festival in Liverpool, England, and produced her own two-hour show on the QVC shopping channel.
“The most important thing about gardening is to enjoy yourself and have a good time. I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend. All the love and tender care you put into it will be returned,” Guest once said.

8 Responses to C.Z. Guest

  1. Murph

    I had peach Snapple for her at the horse shows in Wellington,She was always a delight.
    She would always ask for me for About Jods.
    I had great respect for her, her beauty,love of animals,and her presents, and Cornelia one of my favorite people that I have had the pleasure to know.

  2. Albert Nisley

    Mrs. Guest came to Nashville, Tennessee several years ago for our Southern Book Festival. She read from her latest garden book and later signed the book for buyers. I bought her book. She was charming. I remember she was dressed in a suit that could have been a Chanel. I am surprised to hear she was in her eighties. My mother was 83 when she died, but she looked much older. I am glad I took the opportunity to meet Mrs. Guest and am sorry to learn of her death.

  3. Janice Motsinger

    I moved to New York in 1989 to be around people with similar interest. I read her garden columns often when I was at home in North Carolina. I always felt connected to her whether it be good or bad. We connected early on in my life I suppose, but she first made contact with me (again) about five years ago. I realize now she was so forthright because she was ill. Strange she never mentioned it. She made me feel alive again. I hope her memory lives for ever.

  4. Richard Everard Meade Lipscomb Dabney

    I just stumbled onto this website. However, I will always remember the one time I met her in the summer of 1966. My great-aunt Kathleen invited my parents, my brother and me over to her place on Park Avenue for cocktails to meet a few of her friends.
    Included in the group were Diana Vreeland, Rosemary Clooney, and C. Z. Guest. It was a most eclectic cocktail hour with my father playing the violin and Rosemary Clooney singing. The sight of the fair-haired C.Z. was one that stuck with me. When it got time for me to settle down and marry, I married a CZ lookalike–Valentine Wendy Sutcliffe, a dear English girl who was a combination of CZ and Diane Sawyer!
    That afternoon, at 17, I had my first gin & tonic, and I had my first tete-a-tete with a knockout beauty!
    Richard Everard Meade Lipscomb Dabney

  5. Michael

    I read about CZ Guest when I bought a book about gardening sometime ago. Since then, I cannot help but admire her for her life. She is to me the epitome of a person who is beautiful inside and out.

  6. Donielle Stenson

    I was touched by C.Z’s loyalty to The Duke and Duchess of Windsor.She was always so honest and supportive in their regard.I hope that people remember her steadfast loyalty to friends and her gentle and nurturing soul.I never met C.Z.yet she touched me by example of a life,well lived and well loved.She left this world better, for her being here.-Donielle Elizabeth Stenson

  7. Schuyler Channing

    From all I have heard, Mrs. Guest was a woman of intelligence, taste, talent, and accomplishment. It’s too bad her airhead daughter did not inherit those qualities.

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