Ralph Hancock F.R.H.S. Landscape Artist
- Written by Robin Hull
In May 1930 Ralph, with his wife Muriel and daughter Sheila, set sail for New York. He was to use his association with Princess Victoria to great success. No sooner had he arrived in New Jersey than he was promoting himself as ‘gardener to Princess Victoria of England’ in a pamphlet entitled English Gardens in America.
The pamphlet must have worked. Within a short time Hancock was designing and building gardens for wealthy Americans including J.J. Newberry (owner of the famous five-and-dime stores) and Lydia Duff Gray Hubbard, the New York socialite. The latter garden now forms part of the Garden Club of America.
Hancock became a multiple cup and medal winner at major horticultural events. In 1933 he took the President’s Cup for a magnificent rock garden at the Massachusetts Flower Show.
He was a big hit on the lecture circuit and, like today’s celebrity gardeners, used the popular medium of the time to his advantage, becoming a well-known voice on the many New York radio stations, speaking about horticulture and giving gardening tips to his listeners.