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 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