Connor Smith began his horticulture career working at a garden centre in Scotland. After completing his first year of study, he was accepted to work as an intern for the world-renowned conifer and maple grower Iseli Nursery – becoming one of the first non-American interns to be extended since the inception of the programme in 1987.

Returning to Scotland, Connor received an offer to work for Zu Jeddeloh nursery in Germany. A short spell with Kevock Garden followed, where he participated in one of their Gold Medal-winning displays at the Chelsea Flower Show. Then, it was on to Vannucci Piante in Pistoia, Italy – the largest growing area in Europe.

Connor gained an interest in alpine plants when working under alpine expert Elspeth MacKintosh at RBGE. Elspeth’s passion and knowledge inspired Connor to pursue a specialization in alpine plants. In 2019, he worked for the Schachen Alpine Garden high in the German mountains on a Merlin Trust placement.

Connor Smith is the the Head of the rock garden at Utrecht Botanic Garden in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest in Europe and has more than 3,000 different species.

 2024-10  Utrecht Botanic Garden