Student Profile

Photograph of Helen Elks-Smith

Helen Elks-Smith

Graduated: BSc (Hons) Landscape and Garden Design
Nationality: British
Occupation: Landscape and Garden Designer

Why did you choose to study at Writtle University College?
Writtle had a good reputation for teaching design - well deserved, I think. It also offered a lot more, particularly a good combination of construction, horticulture and arboriculture - all of which are essential skills to work in this industry. Some of the other courses were rather thin by comparison, focusing on presentation skills rather than content.

What did/ do you particularly enjoy about your course?
At Writtle I became very interested in our response to space and the landscape that surrounds us, and developed a strong understanding of the way gardens make us feel an awareness that underpins all of my designs.

My Career Path
I run my own successful landscape and garden design business based just outside Southampton. We have recently won a BALI Design excellence award and a Silver at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. My work has appeared in many national magazines and will be featured in two upcoming books. We have a number of really interesting projects that we are working on. We have clients covering an area across the South Coast and into London. I currently employ two junior designers and the business is still growing. I had worked before I started at Writtle College and designed and built a number of gardens so I had a fairly clear idea of the skills set I needed.

My Current Job
Owner of Elks-Smith Landscape and Garden Design