A MEMORIAL garden in Tranent has been unveiled for a veterinary nurse who died suddenly in June.

Rose Usher-Smith, head veterinarian nurse at Dunedin Vets in Tranent, was only 36 when she passed away of natural causes.

Now her former colleagues have created a memorial garden in her honour outside the vet practice.

When Rose failed to turn up to work on June 1, colleagues phoned the police and were left devastated when Rose was found dead in her home in Haddington.

Born in Somerset, Rose spent part of her childhood living in the Sultanate of Oman before her family settled in Kingussie, near Aviemore. She then moved to Tranent when she joined Dunedin Vets in 2005.

Following her death, clients were invited to leave tributes in a book of condolence and some even donated money to buy plants for the garden.

Her fellow veterinary nurses bought a silver plaque to be placed on a wall in the garden, which was built by Chris Monk, before the horticulture was completed by Margot Hunter, both clinical directors at Dunedin Vets.

Ms Hunter said: “Rose was a wonderful friend and colleague to us all and the garden is a lovely tribute to her.

“She was a keen gardener and it was created just how Rose would have wanted it – it’s very natural and not at all showy.

“We have rosemary, rambling roses, bog plants and a water feature with water lilies that she would have loved.

“We have also planted a rowan tree at the bottom of the car park.

“Rose’s death had a huge impact on us and some of our staff aren’t coping well.

“We are supporting each other and now have a place to go for quiet contemplation and remember the wonderful person she was.”

All four of Dunedin Vets’ surgeries in Tranent, Dunbar, Prestonpans and North Berwick closed on the day of Rose’s funeral so colleagues could travel to Kingussie for the service, although a locum vet handled emergency cases.

Because of the high esteem in which Rose was held at Dunedin Vets, the practice has decided not to appoint another head nurse. Instead, Fiona McLaren and Nicole Paprotny have been appointed as joint senior nurses.

“Rose was a major cog in the wheel at the practice. She linked everyone together,” said Ms Hunter.

“She went above and beyond when it came to the care of our clients’ pets, she was very knowledgeable and knew how to handle animals.”

Rose is survived by parents Janet and Jeremy and brothers Ben and Jonathan.