Nicola has worked in a number of therapeutic gardening projects for people dealing with mental health problems over the last 20 years or so. She has an unassuming manner, sharing her horticultural wisdom quietly without asserting her expertise, and gently helping shape a therapeutic environment in which people with serious health problems can work towards recovery. Nicola worked at Chrysalis in Dundee and The Walled Garden in Perth before becoming the manager at Redhall Walled Garden in Edinburgh which run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Her long experience in horticulture aligned to a warm and affirming nature make her a very skilled therapeutic practitioner. She creates the perfect conditions for gardening to work its magic for everyone who comes to Redhall.
Nicola has a sound knowledge of horticulture and she uses it tirelessly to help people battling mental ill health to find tranquillity and a road to recovery. She balances the responsibilities and demands of preserving and developing a historical walled garden with the role of providing a safe and nurturing environment for the trainees who attend Redhall and helping them learn about gardening. It is a special blend of knowledge at the intersection between horticulture and health that Nicola has honed over the years and she puts it to good use every day to help people get the most out of their time in the garden. This includes supporting people to take on a plot of their own, a big step for most, and to realise creative projects.