Archant Specialist’s The English Garden magazine has launched a Future Fund to encourage exciting new ideas to set the gardening world alight, with the help of a generous reader and celebrity chef Raymond Blanc.


The concept for the new bursary scheme came about following a very generous random act of kindness.


The English Garden magazine was left a large sum of money by a reader in her will, as thanks for all the joy and knowledge she had gained from reading the magazine.


This gave magazine team an exciting opportunity to pass that generosity forward to benefit the gardening community as a whole, through the launch of the annual Future Fund.


Each year for at least the next five years, the magazine will award one recipient up to £5,000 to help fund or part-fund a project, initiative, event, product, idea, research or development.


The scheme is open to individual amateur and professional gardeners as well as industry bodies and heritage, conservation and community gardening groups, non-profits and charities.


Magazine editor, Stephanie Mahon, said: “What makes the Future Fund different to other horticultural bursaries is that it is open to everyone who has a great gardening idea. It’s not just for academics or charities or professionals, though we do welcome applications from all of them. It’s for anyone who has had that eureka moment and come up with a way to help other gardeners.


“Gardeners are known for their incredible generosity, whether that’s giving away seeds or cuttings, or sharing their knowledge and experience. We wanted the generous donation we received to be used to help sow the seeds for new gardening inspiration, to grow and benefit the horticultural community now and in the future.  We are really looking forward to receiving some exciting entries from the many horticultural heroes there are throughout the UK, who we know are bursting with fresh ideas that could really make a difference,” said Stephanie.


The bursary was launched by Stephanie and editor-at-large Tamsin Westhorpe on September 11 with the help of celebrity chef Raymond Blanc at his two Michelin star hotel and restaurant, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire. The hotel is surrounded by a superb series of gardens, including a kitchen garden. The magazine has created an inspiring gardening series there over two years, showing how Raymond’s garden team grow much of the produce that appears on his menus.


Application forms can be found in the October and November 2014 editions of The English Garden magazine, and further details can be found by visiting  where you can also view a fun film about The Future Fund, narrated by gardening guru Chris Beardshaw.


There is no time to waste, as applications close at the end of November 2014, after which a shortlist of projects will be selected. Then it will be over to the gardening public to vote for the project they think has the gardening X Factor and deserves to receive The Future Fund for 2015. The lucky recipient will be announced at the end of February 2015.


Pictured above is celebrity chef and owner of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc with Tamsin Westhorpe, editor-at-large (left) and Stephanie Mahon, editor of The English Garden at The English Garden Future Fund launch.