About the Handscombes

By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe, Practical gardeners and authors living in Spain for 25 years.

Handscombe family intro

If one searches the web one finds that there are an amazing number of authors in the widespread Handscombe family (also spelt as Handscomb and Hanscom due to inaccuracies of early record clerks) that started with the first members of the family settling as tenants on a parcel of land owned by Ramsey Abbey around 1222 that today is part of the small hamlet of Hanscombe End on the Hertfordshire Bedfordshire border. Dick had many holidays in that area in the 1940’s working his grandmothers large garden and earning pocket money on a number of farms. By coincidence we now live on and use tenanted land for our garden, a vegetable and soft fruit allotment and an olive grove. The land having been from 1298 until the dissolution of Spanish monasteries in 1836 part of the land of the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria established by King Jamie 2nd to celebrate the defeat of the local Moors.

Finding gardening in Spain very different to Britain and Ireland we started writing in newspapers and magazines and then started to write books to help others avoid our early mistakes . We have also had several series of radio programmes following on from a great uncle of Dick who had an agricultural programme on BBC radio for many years.

Via this website and at various talks we have often met old contacts from school university and working days who ask Dick are you the Richard Handscombe who wrote management books before retiring to Spain. The answer is yes as illustrated below.

Dick is also often asked are you the Richard Handscombe of Sheffield University …the answer is no. Dick’s academic connections were Haberdashers Askes, UCL and The European Business School. But Dick did in the mid 1970’s spend an interesting day with a third Richard Handscombe in his delightful English style garden in Pennsylvania. He being a direct descendent from the first Handscombe’s to emigrate to America in the 1620’s to be farmers, ship builders, store chain owners and food manufacturers over the centuries.

Now in our 60’s and 70’s we live self sufficiently taming the Mediterranean Climate, soil and plants perhaps little differently to our original forebears ( who are thought to have moved to England with the Norman Army) during their retirement in England.

And we wrote our 14 th book to help those dwelling in apartments to do the same on a smaller scale.

The Handscombe books.

Dick’s series of lifestyle books, with gardening content.

  • 18. Making Authentic Valencian Paellas – Self published 2013/Amazon Create Space
  • 17. Having a Great Retirement – Self published 2013/Amazon Create Space and Kindle.
  • 16. Living well from our Mediterranean garden – Selfpublished2011/Shortly Amazon Create Space and Kindle

Jointly authored Gardening books as Clodagh and Dick Handscombe

  • 15.Making waterless gardens a practical reality worldwide – Self published 2012/Amazon Create Space and Kindle
  • 14.Apartment Gardening Mediterranean Style – Santana Books April 2010
  • 13.Revised edition Your garden in Spain – Santana Books May 2007.
  • 12.Growing healthy fruit in Spain – Santana Books – March 2007.
  • 11.Growing healthy vegetables in Spain – Santana Books – December 2006.
  • 10.Your garden in Spain – Santana Books – 2005.
  • 9.Practical gardening on the Costa – Costa Blanca News –2002.
  • 8.Practical gardening on the Costa Blanca – Costa Blanca News – 2001.

Earlier books as Richard Handscombe

  • 7.Liderazgo estrategico – Los eslabones perdidos – McGraw Hill –1996.
  • 6.El Jefe de producto – Guia practicas del Product Manager – McGraw Hill 1992.
  • 5.Strategic Leadership – Managing the missing links – McGraw Hill 1993.
  • 4.Strategic Leadership – The missing links – McGraw Hill 1989.
  • 3.The product management handbook – Your practical guide to improving and sustaining results – McGraw Hill 1989.
  • 2.Managing through people – ILO – 1985.
  • 1.The Bankers management handbook – McGraw Hill – 1976.

We hope that some of the books will be of interest to distant relatives whether working or retired and whether in the UK or spread round the world. Contact us on yourgardeninspain@hotmail.com

© Clodagh and Dick Handscombe October 2009.