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Rutland garden designer Nicola Oakey to open public herb garden at Treborth Botanic Gardens

A ‘dream has come true’ for a gardener who spent time as an assistant to Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost.

Nicola Oakey, who has been based in Rutland for eight years, will open her first public garden – a herb garden in north Wales - for people to enjoy next spring.

The garden will tell the story of how plants were used in medieval times to treat all manner of ailments, including distilled water of red roses for toothache, bruised saffron as a sobering tonic, and using apples to remove warts.

Nicola Oakey. Photo: Amanda Forman
Nicola Oakey. Photo: Amanda Forman

Nicola completed a diploma in garden design in 2013 before creating her first ‘show garden’ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and receiving a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gold award.

In 2018 she was a finalist in the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition at Tatton Park Flower Show in Cheshire. She has designed gardens across Rutland and neighbouring counties, working with local celebrity gardener Adam Frost, and four years ago set up a design studio in North Luffenham.

Yet the chance to design a public space in Wales was a dream come true.

An illustration of the garden by Helen Thomas
An illustration of the garden by Helen Thomas

She said: “It’s always been a long-held dream to create a public garden that lots of people can use and enjoy.”

The new garden will form a central part of a 44-acre botanic garden owned by Bangor University

“It’s a really exciting new development and a great asset to the local area,” said the garden’s curator, Natalie Chivers.

Illustration of gardens by Nicola Oakey
Illustration of gardens by Nicola Oakey

“Nicola’s design captures the North Wales landscape combined with the rich heritage of medicinal plants used in the area. It’s been brilliant working with her to bring this project to life.”

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