Gardeners’ World presenter puts his roots down at University of Leicester’s city oasis

Nick Bailey at the Botanic Garden.

A face familiar to millions of BBC Gardeners’ World viewers will be bringing his expertise to the University of Leicester after being appointed director of its Botanic Garden.

Securing Nick Bailey’s services is quite the coup for the University, which had approached the plantsman and garden designer to help lead the development of the much-loved green oasis, in the heart of Oadby.

Nick’s part-time role will see him develop a five year plan to futureproof the Glebe Road site and its collections, enhance its role within the community, secure funding and design and host engagement events.

“I love a new challenge and can’t wait to help steer the garden to an even brighter future,” said Nick, who became a regular Gardeners’ World presenter in 2016.

“The spirit of the garden feels really special to me. It’s got a wonderful feeling of an oasis thanks to its huge range of mature trees and beautifully established plantings, not to mention the historic buildings and rich glasshouse collections.”

He added: “The space is busting with potential. I'm really excited to be working with the dynamic team running the Botanic Garden in order to broaden engagement, enrich the collections, improve access and make the site a horticultural, learning and social hub for the whole city and beyond.”

Professor Tom Robinson, Chair of the Botanic Garden Board, said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Nick, who I am sure many will know from his appearances on Gardeners’ World.

“While his high profile will no doubt bring more attention to our Botanic Garden, what really sold Nick to us was his three decades of experience working across the horticulture sectors. “In particular, the way in which he rejuvenated Chelsea Physic Garden chimed with our ambitions for our Botanic Garden.”

Nick became a regular presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World in March 2016. He has also appeared on BBC 2’s Great British Garden Revival and Big Dreams Small Spaces

After studying horticulture at Hadlow College and receiving a first-class honours degree in landscape design from Greenwich University, Nick has worked across many sectors of horticulture over the last 30 years, including nursery stock production, garden management, garden design, teaching, public speaking, horticultural consultancy, writing and broadcasting.

He has designed and managed numerous gardens throughout the UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia. And created his first Main Avenue Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2016 (Silver Gilt).

Nick is also the former Head Gardener at London’s oldest botanic garden – Chelsea Physic Garden, where he spent seven years redesigning and developing the site and its plant collections for a contemporary audience.

In addition to his Gardeners’ World role, he has also appeared on BBC 2’s Great British Garden Revival and Big Dreams Small Spaces.