Price Band A
Based in mid-Kent, the Garden of England
Unlike our other advisors, Ros does not even pretend to be a gardener. After gaining degrees in Botany and Ecology at Aberdeen University, she has spent most of her working life in ‘wild’ habitats. Some of her time is spent undertaking botanical surveys to inform organisations that are responsible for the conservation of nature, but mostly she runs courses and workshops to train people HOW to look at flowers. An understanding of floral structure not only opens one’s eyes to another facet of the beauty of plants but provides important clues to their classification and identification.
Ros’ taxonomy workshops and courses involve participants in plenty of practical work – close examination of flowers – both in the ‘classroom’ and in the field/garden. They aim to give those who participate, the skills, confidence and enthusiasm needed to grasp the classification system and to appreciate where different plants fit into the scheme. Then it becomes an intriguing and realistic challenge to tackle their identification. Most of us, who have the good fortune to work with plants, need to know their names, for the name provides the route to essential information and a means of communicating with other practitioners and enthusiasts.
Ros’ work has taken her to many parts of the globe. Her expertise lies principally in the native floras of Europe. She runs plant taxonomy courses for professionals and amateurs in many branches of botany. Her regular clientele includes professional ecologists, amateur naturalists, ethnobotanists, postgraduate students and trainee gardeners. She works on behalf of many organisations - in particular the Field Studies Council, Kent Wildlife Trust, Plantlife, Kent County Council, the Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme, various ecological consultancies and universities (currently Kent, Manchester Metropolitan and Cambridge).