Ralph Hancock F.R.H.S. Landscape Artist
- Written by Robin Hull
Success in the UK
Ralph left the United States in 1936 and returned to London. He was soon exhibiting at both the Chelsea Flower Show and the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition.
He also published When I Make a Garden, an 80-page collection of photographs of his work in the UK and the US. It was updated in 1950 to include his post-war designs. Sadly, very few of the black and white images give details of the location of the gardens.
Catalogues from Chelsea show that Hancock always took the largest stand space for his garden designs. He won many gold medals for his Arts-and-Crafts-inspired gardens, which often incorporated sunken pools, Cotswold stone walls, wrought iron and thatched cottages. Planting was very traditional.
Like Chelsea, the Ideal Home Exhibition gave him an opportunity to show off his designs, for which he must have received countless commissions. Before the Second World War, Hancock and his family were living in Sloane Street and Trevor Square in fashionable Knightsbridge. He had a showroom in Park Arcade, just up from Harrods and a workshop making wrought iron, garden furniture and ornaments, close to his country home in Lingfield, Surrey.