Living Landscapes Educator Helen Lannon loves not only researching plants and developing beautiful displays, but helping others connect with the living world around them. She tells us what it's like being part of Eden.
"The Eden Project’s message revolves around the relationship between people, plants and taking care of the environment. The plants here should be centre stage, and by developing and maintaining the exhibits, I’m making my contribution towards delivering Eden’s mission.
There are so many spots around Eden to enjoy. For me, I like the areas I look after – part of the Blue Border, Japanese Garden and the Spiral Garden. Beyond this, there’s the lavender exhibit because of the visual texture of the plants as they grow and then flower – not forgetting the aroma. The fungi exhibit which fellow horticulturalist Jack has developed behind the Core is fascinating and looks perfect in the shade under the trees. Our Global Gardens allotment is lovely with a huge range of edible plants from around the world. The Plane Tree Steps in spring are stunning too, with a succession of spring bulbs flowering before the canopy appears. It’s very hard to pick a favourite spot!"
“Our horticultural displays not only look great, but tell the stories behind the plants.”
"As a Living Landscapes Educator, I love working with temperate plants, and the Outdoor Gardens at Eden are full of them. There is a huge range of plants and exhibits and I’ve been lucky enough to work on a wide variety of them. This has allowed me to expand my interest into certain plants like bulbs and salvias, as well as those that grow in certain geographical regions like woodlands, prairies and in Japan.
Working at Eden has given me opportunities I may not have experienced otherwise. Attending a prairie conference in the US, working with inmates at Channings Wood Prison to grow bulbs, and attending various RHS shows as part of the exhibiting team are a few highlights.
I find it very rewarding researching and developing horticultural areas, and at the moment I’m working on the Japanese Garden to make it more recognisably Japanese all year round. This includes repairing bamboo fences, clearing and planting up the steep side of the garden where there’s no soil, and acquiring plants and artefacts to really give the area a sense of place.
Another exciting project in the pipeline is a revamp of the Spiral Garden, to create a place which promotes learning for school groups and for them to gain ideas and inspiration for their own outside spaces."