After first entering a darkroom at age 14, I went on to study photography and writing at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts honors (BA) degree in writing and photography. Though I was originally trained to use film and traditional black and white photography techniques, after my father gave me my first digital camera in 2001, I never shot another roll of film.

After working in Washington, DC for five years as a writer and photographer, and several months living off-grid in a log cabin on an Alaskan lake, I returned to where I grew up in the country outside of Charlottesville, VA to work in marketing communications and Web and print design. I bought an abandoned property and designed, built and landscaped a home. I created a small farm and grew most of my own vegetables with the help of my English Shepherd, a flock of chickens, and a green tractor. As a certified master gardener, I also served as a volunteer horticultural educator, teaching members of my community how to garden.

A lifelong interest in growing things led me abroad to Scotland, where I was privileged to study horticulture with plantsmanship at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), one of the world's preeminent botanical institutions. In July 2017 I achieved a Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) degree in Horticulture with Plantsmanship with Distinction, awarded by the University of Glasgow, and received the SRUC award for best third-year student. In June 2016 I received the RBGE Diploma in Plantsmanship, with Distinction. Following graduation I led a team of three as head gardener of a private 24-acre garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. In September 2019 I began work as head gardener of Parham House and Gardens in West Sussex. In the future I plan to continue gardening every day and tell the world about it through my writing and photography.

I shoot with Canon digital SLR cameras and do minimal post-processing with Adobe Photoshop on a Mac platform. All images are available for sale in a variety of sizes with the option of custom matting and framing. I also accept freelance writing and photography assignments on any topic, and I'd be happy to provide clips upon request.

I hope you'll take a minute and tell me what you think of my pictures. By creating this Web site and joining the online photographic community, I'd like to get to know other people who are similarly fired up by light and shadow, color and line. It's even better if you love plants! Thanks for stopping by.


erika at erikapackard dot com