Application for Community Gardens Awards now open…

In addition to its annual donations to nursing and health charities, the National Garden Scheme grants awards to help community gardening projects.

In 2011 the National Garden Scheme set up an award scheme in memory of Elspeth Thompson, the much-loved garden writer and journalist who died in 2010.

Elspeth was a great friend and supporter of the National Garden Scheme; she also wrote an admired ‘Urban Gardener’ column in the Sunday Telegraph. Her column often celebrated community gardens and so the awards support gardening projects carried out within local communities all over England and Wales.

Previously managed in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, from 2019 the scheme will be wholly managed by the National Garden Scheme. To date awards have been given to 59 projects with a total amount donated of £112,174. In 2019 projects funded included the enhancement of grounds around sheltered accommodation at the Court Community Garden in Llandrindrod Wells, support to renovate a dilapidated allotment site in Nottingham, the creation of a sensory garden in York for women experiencing loneliness or in crisis and funding for the Therapy Garden in Guildford for adults and children with mental health challenges.

The closing date for applications is December 31.
To find out how to apply and to download an application form, go to:

For a selection of illustrative images see:


About the National Garden Scheme


The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake.


Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors we have donated a total of £58 million to nursing and health charities, and made an annual donation of £3 million in 2019. Founded in 1927 to support district nurses, we are now the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK and our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.


The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity –we are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. We fund projects which promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2017, we launched our annual Gardens and Health Week to raise awareness of the topic.


The 2020 gardens will be ready to view online in December. To find out more, visit, download the National Garden Scheme app or purchase the National Garden Scheme’s Garden Visitor’s Handbook, which is published annually and available via and at all good book retailers.

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