Chris Woods was born in London, England but has lived in the United States since 1981. He has worked in the garden world as gardener, director and designer for 45 years. He is best-known for his work at Chanticleer, a “pleasure garden” in Wayne, PA, where he worked for 20 years.
After Chanticleer, he became vice president for horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. He was director of the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada, and executive director of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. In 2012, he was lured back east by The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and appointed director of its private estate and garden, Meadowbrook Farm. Being somewhat restless and increasingly unemployable, he decided to stop managing gardens and travel the world looking at both constructed and wild landscapes.
He currently lives in California and one or two other places.
Books & Awards
His first book, The Encyclopedia of Perennials, was published in 1992 by Facts on File. He also contributed to 1001 Gardens to See Before You Die (Barron’s Educational Series, 2012) and The Gardener’s Garden (Phaidon Press, 2014). In 2018, Timber Press published Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best Gardens.
In 2003, he was awarded the Professional Citation for significant achievements in public horticulture by the American Public Garden Association.
In 2007, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society awarded him its prestigious medal for Distinguished Achievement.