Nikki, Creative Director of Pershore’s Styling Homes and Gardens, tells her story and the inspiration for her award winning garden.
“I was the proverbial round peg in a square hole during my 20 year career in the world of IT, don’t get me wrong, I had some truly amazing unforgettable moments and met some inspiring people along the way. However, it was the last few years that drove me to make changes with my life and carve out a new career and a new way of living – one that would be creative, filled with colour and help others. But I had no idea on what was going to happen next – the usual fears of money and skill were holding me back.
“Whilst wondering what to do next in my career, I decided to enrol at Pershore College part-time to study RHS Level 2 in Horticulture which gave me a good understanding about plants and soil, but I was missing the bit of knowledge that really interested me and that was designing gardens. So, another college and another course in Garden Design later and I’m now a qualified garden designer.
“I started my business in April 2015 and soon realised there were lots of new homes being built in the county and most of them will need help and advice with their gardens.
“After completing my design course in November 2015, I submitted my application and designs three weeks later to the RHS for a show garden at Malvern. When my application was accepted in February it was a mixture of excitement and fear as the enormity of working at such a prestigious event dawned on me. The event attracts over 100,000 visitors as well as being watched by around 2.2million people on BBC2’s Gardeners’ World. As a resident of Worcestershire, I wanted to produce a garden which celebrated both the County’s richness in its heritage as well as its cutting-edge technology.
“It was a pleasure to be able to give people the opportunity to view my garden called “Hidden Gems of Worcestershire”. It was the most amazing project I’ve ever worked upon and I received fantastic interest and wonderful feedback from everyone, but meeting Alan Titchmarsh was fabulous and he was very supportive of my new career choice. I am extremely happy to have received a Silver Award at the Festival, having only recently started a career in horticulture and a further honour to win the People’s Choice Award for my Festival Garden. I couldn’t be happier.”
Nikki is opening the first Garden Design Centre at St Peters Garden Centre in Norton, Worcestershire next month.
Nikki originally spent 20 years working in IT before deciding to pursue her passion of horticulture full time and, in May 2016, was awarded Silver and the People’s Choice Award at the Malvern’s RHS Spring Festival show with her locally-inspired festival garden ‘The Hidden Gems of Worcestershire’.