Rohanna Heyes

Horticulturist (Level II)

I love working in the glasshouse, it’s a dynamic environment with ever changing displays and interesting plant collections

For most of my working life I have been involved with plants, one way or another. On finishing high school I opted out of taking the university path, where most of my peers chose to tread. I longed for adventures and the open road, so I worked my way, mostly on orchards. The hard graft required to work on orchards on piece rate appealed to me - you got paid for how hard you worked, the days whizzed by.

At first I travelled just in New Zealand then I ventured to Europe where I had family ancestry, I loved the cultural landscape and history. I worked in a variety of jobs; waitressing, cleaning, bartending, teaching English, but especially enjoyed my time volunteering on organic farms in France and Italy.

On returning to New Zealand I was ready to use my brain a bit more and found myself enrolling at university- everything seemed so intimidatingly academic - including the biology of plants paper which I only changed to at last minute. I ended up loving it, and botany became my major. After this I returned to England and my career path changed focus from academic to aesthetic after finding employment at an amazing nursery, Woottens of Wenhaston, just down the road from where I lived.

Here I began to learn about ornamental horticulture, which led me to Wisley and the Diploma in Horticulture. After finishing, I got a job working in the glasshouse at Wisley where I look after a range of tropical plants including an orchid collection, aquatic plants, Hoya, specimen shrubs and palms. I love working in the glasshouse, it’s a dynamic environment with ever changing displays and interesting plant collections.

Rohanna's posts and conversations

  • Amazonian adventures at Wisley

    The latest addition to Wisley's plant collection is one of the world's biggest waterlil

    Read more

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