The world of plants fascinates Helen Roberts. Her curiosity began when she was three years old attempting to help out on the family allotment. This interest persists today. Combining her botanical curiosity and enthusiasm to discuss gardens, landscape and plants with people, progressed into writing about it. Since July 2013 Helen has been a regular contributor to the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens blog. She is a probationary member of the Garden Media Guild.
Following an MA in Landscape Design at the University of Sheffield, Helen worked as a landscape architect in Manchester for the landscape architecture and urban design practice Gillespies. Whilst there she worked in many different areas: landscape design, strategic masterplanning, fieldwork and landscape and visual impact assessment. Following this, she has been involved in garden design, management and planting consultation on a number of different projects in Somerset. She is also an associate lecturer at a FE college in Somerset and teaches on a number of courses including horticulture, arboriculture, soil and plant science and garden history. Helen has an Applied Plant Sciences degree, followed by a Masters of Research in Biology both from the University of Manchester.
Although trained as a landscape architect, because of Helen’s initial higher education in plant sciences much of her writing has a scientific leaning even if the content is design based. Helen looks at particular issues relating to landscape architecture and horticulture but examines the scientific, cultural and social impact behind them.
She has travelled widely from spending time in Svalbard examining the very stunted but extremely tough Arctic Willow (Salix arctica), to investigating diseases of greenhouse tomatoes in British Columbia and exploring the beautiful landscapes and gardens of southern Sweden.