This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Penelope Hobhouse and Walmer Castle

Penelope Hobhouse (b 1929) and Walmer Castle, Kent, Registered Grade II.

Penelope Hobhouse is a garden designer, garden historian and writer. Her books include 'Plants in Garden History' (1992) and 'The Story of Gardening' (2002).

She won widespread public recognition with her garden designs of classical restraint and has inspired others through her writings. Penelope is also a renown garden historian with her books bringing historic gardens into the public's imagination. Her own style has been influenced by Gertrude Jekyll and she experiments with harmonies and contrasts of colour, weaving colour pictures with plants. Her commissions include the Country Garden at the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Wisley, Surrey (Registered Grade II*). In 1996 she received the Royal Horticultural Society Victoria Medal of Honour.

The Queen Mothers Garden at Walmer Castle
The Queen Mother’s Garden at Walmer Castle © © Historic England

Penelope created the garden at Walmer Castle, Kent in 1997 to commemorate the 95th birthday of the then Lord Warden, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

One of Henry VIII's south coast forts, Walmer Castle includes formal gardens and pleasure grounds. The moat garden, divided into four sections by walls and the drawbridge, is laid out to a broad continuous ribbon of lawn, flanked by serpentine beds of banked shrubbery including lilacs, fuchsias and hydrangeas. Installed in the old Walled Garden, the Queen Mother's garden is enclosed by high, castellated red-brick walls. A central lily pool, flanked with broad panels of lawn, is surrounded by gravelled walks and large colourful mixed borders. At the north end is a summerhouse and there is a double E-shaped parterre for 'Elizabeth'.

The terraces contain plantings of a pink patio rose named after the Queen Mother. Walmer Castle is a Historic England property.

View towards Walmer Castle with pink rose 'Rosa Queen Mother' in the foreground
View towards Walmer Castle with pink rose 'Rosa Queen Mother' in the foreground © Historic England
Was this page helpful?

External links