Elspeth Thompson
The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are inviting amateur gardeners across England and Wales to apply for funds to support community horticultural projects.

More than £100,000 of funding was created in memory of inspirational garden writer and blogger Elspeth Thompson, who died aged 48 in 2010.

An inspiring gardener and writer, Elspeth Thompson wrote 14 books and was a regular columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, where she chronicled her efforts to tame two allotments in London. During an interview she claimed, “For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed growing and tending plants and flowers – from prized patches in my parents’ gardens as a child, to pots on balconies and rooftops.”

Her career as a writer started in the 80s with articles about gardens and interiors. A great believer in the value of community spaces, Elspeth championed projects bringing people and their love of gardening, together.

Read more about Elspeth, her legacy and how to apply for a bursary click here

In memory of Elspeth, in 2011 the National Garden Scheme set up a bursary to continue her legacy. Now in its second year, the Elspeth Thompson Bursary has already funded more than a dozen community projects across the country.

Projects include helping vulnerable and socially excluded adults regenerate a communal garden in Cardiff; funding the redevelopment of a communal garden in Northumberland; providing gardening equipment to a charity in Caerphilly that works with vulnerable and homeless young people and setting up a community allotment with special facilities to serve disabled children, the elderly and the wider community.

Penny Snell, Chairman of the NGS, said: “Although the NGS is a fundraising, grant-giving charity supported by owners of private gardens opening them to the public, one of the positive results of opening gardens is the fostering of a community spirit. The Elspeth Thompson Bursaries aim to support community projects and include diverse sections of society through horticulture and a community effort. Community gardening was very close to Elspeth’s heart and we are delighted to be able to provide these bursaries in her name in partnership with the RHS.”

Applications for 2023 open on Monday 17th October. You can find out more about applying here: Community Garden Grants - National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk)

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Mark E