Penelope Hobhouse

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Penelope Hobhouse
Born Penelope Chichester-Clark
(1929-11-20) 20 November 1929 (age 84)
Moyola Park, Castledawson, Northern Ireland
Nationality Northern Irish
Occupation Garden writer, designer

Penelope Hobhouse MBE (born 20 November 1929), née Chichester-Clark, is a British garden writer, designer, lecturer and television presenter.

Early life[edit]

Born into an Anglo-Irish family in Moyola Park, Castledawson, she is the daughter of James Lenox-Conyngham Chichester-Clark and a sister of Lord Moyola and Sir Robin Chichester-Clark.[1]

She was educated at North Foreland Lodge and Girton College, Cambridge,[1] graduating with a BA in economics in 1951.

Career[edit]

Hobhouse walked through Tuscany and taught herself gardening by examples of the Tuscan villa gardens she saw; she went on to be a garden writer and designer, publishing many books on the subject. Until 1993 she was in charge of Tintinhull House gardens in Somerset.

In 1996 she hosted a television series for Home & Garden Television in the USA.[2] Her publications include; Colour in Your Garden, Plants in Garden History, Penelope Hobhouse on Gardening', Penelope Hobhouse’s Garden Designs, and Penelope Hobhouse’s Natural Planting.

Hobhouse is "a fixture in the minds of gardeners who love rooms and bones — the paths and walls and satisfying verticals that form the skeleton of a garden."[3] She has designed gardens in England, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United States. They include a garden for Elizabeth the Queen Mother, at Walmer Castle in Kent, ‘The Country Garden’ for the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley, a renaissance-style garden in Italy and a garden for the fashion designer, Jil Sander, in Germany. In 1996, she designed an English cottage garden for Steve Jobs' Woodside home, a perfect fit for Tudor-style architecture.[4]

She is an associate editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine. She has taught at the University of Essex. She then lived in Bettiscombe, Dorset. She moved in September 2008 back to Hadspen, where she is starting a new garden outside her quarters which are in the yard. Her new garden is a south facing and 17m x17m( 56 ft x 56 ft) enclosure at the back of some converted stables surrounded by mature box hedging. This may be a challenge as her Bettiscombe garden was a good deal warmer than this one.

Family[edit]

Hobhouse married firstly, 17 May 1952 Paul Rodbard Hobhouse (d 1994), son of Sir Arthur Hobhouse (d 1965), of Castle Cary, Somerset; this marriage was dissolved in 1983, and she left the garden she had restored at the Hobhouse seat, Hadspen, Somerset. By Paul Hobhouse she has one daughter, Georgina Dehra Catherine (b 9 March 1953) and two sons, Niall Alexander (b 29 Aug 1954) and David Paul (b 9 Sept 1957). She moved to Tintinhull and met her second husband, Prof. John Melville Malins, at a Garden History Society meeting;[5] they married in 1983, he died in 1992.

Awards[edit]

  • Award of Excellence for her book, Gardening Through the Ages from the Garden Writers Association of America in 1993
  • Royal Horticultural Society Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award given by the RHS to British Horticulturists in December 1996
  • Life Time Achievement Award from the Guild of Garden Writers in November 1999
  • Honorary degree from Birmingham University

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to British gardening.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Debrett's entry
  2. ^ Rodkin, Dennis (January 5, 1997). "Two Wonderful Cable Series Will Turn Your Television Into A Magic Window To Spring". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Anne Raver, "Gardening is so much more than, well, plants", The New York Times, 22 January 1995, p. 34.
  4. ^ Eaton, Joe; Sullivan, Ron. "Steve Jobs' gardener describes mutual appreciation". SF Gate. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Raver 1995.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b20. 14 June 2014.

External links[edit]