Nicola has always been surrounded by plants and gardens. Growing up in Dartmoor National Park, her parents were (and still are) avid plants people with their own collection of medals from creating displays in the floral marquee at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. Hearing tales of the magic of Chelsea ultimately lead to Nicola pursuing a career in garden design. It also lead to a misinterpreted love of Chelsea Football Club as a child too…
The iconic countryside of Devon has given Nicola a love and curiosity of landscapes and nature. Whether exploring hedgerows for native plant ideas, or photographing local materials, she has grown up with a great understanding of what makes spaces unique and how to find a sense of place in every setting.
Nicola completed a diploma in Garden Design at The Pickard School of Garden Design in 2013. Later, in 2015, she followed her childhood dream and created her first show garden at Gardeners’ World Live. Inspired by the pottery industry of the Midlands, her design received an RHS Gold Medal.
Alongside her love of design, Nicola also enjoys capturing plants, gardens and the natural world through her writing. This included working for the RHS as an Editorial Assistant. In 2016 she was a finalist in the Garden Media Guild’s, Alan Titchmarsh New Talent Award for her features written in The Garden magazine.
In 2019, Nicola was the only female finalist in the RHS Young Designer of the Year competition. Her highly praised design was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal and featured on BBC television. Inspired by her memories of a childhood growing up beside water, the garden captured the different senses and emotions that water can evoke in all of us.
Nicola currently splits her time between doing her own private garden design, working for Adam Frost Design and gardening.
Copyright Nicola Oakey 2019