Applications for projects starting in 2024 are now closed. Applications will open in September for projects starting in 2025.

Funding is offered for nurse-led projects that promote the health benefits of gardening and garden visiting among a group of people in the community. Scholarships are awarded to five nurses each year.

We encourage applications that aim to improve people’s physical, mental or emotional health, or a combination of these. We also welcome proposals that contribute to the wider environmental agenda and sustainability within health services, for example by reducing plastic waste or carbon footprint, as long as the project is garden focused.

NGS Elsie Wagg Innovation Scholarship Final Report 2023 Summary


The QNI has an excellent track record of supporting nurses to implement their own ideas to improve healthcare. All project leaders benefit from the QNI’s highly rated professional development programme and funding of up to £5000.

The scholarship programme is open to all nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. We are actively looking to fund projects that are led by nurses from a Black and minority ethnic background.

Examples of gardens and health projects in the community include:

  • A General Practice Nurse working with colleagues and individuals to create or improve a flower/herb garden at a GP Surgery;
  • A Community Learning Disability Nurse organising visits to National Garden Scheme gardens for individuals and/or groups of service users, family members and volunteers;
  • A Community Mental Health Nurse working with colleagues to support service users to access gardening and garden visiting as part of therapy;
  • A Care Home Nurse working with residents and families to develop a sensory garden at their home and encouraging residents to participate in the planning and to share stories and memories about plants and gardens;
  • A Homeless and Inclusion Health Nurse working with people on a gardening project in a hostel or other setting;
  • A Prison Nurse working with people in prison and colleagues to create or improve a prison fruit and vegetable garden.


Elsie Wagg MBE (1876-1949)

The scholarship is named after Elsie Wagg MBE, the QNI council member who originally had the idea to open gardens to raise funds for the charity, which led to the creation of the National Garden Scheme in 1927.


If you have any admin queries, please email Aga Kusmierz at

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