Pat and Margaret Wells

The Cornwall Garden Society (CGS) is pleased to invite horticulture students and apprentices, as well as working gardeners in Cornwall, to apply for the 2023/2024 round of the annual bursary fund of £5,000 that it administers on behalf of Clare, Helen and Brendan Wells in memory of their late mothers, Pat and Margaret Wells.

The aim of The Pat and Margaret Wells Bursary is to support those studying or intending to study horticulture at educational establishments in Cornwall on a full- or part-time basis, or in apprenticeships or other horticultural-related employment in the Duchy.

The deadline for this year’s round of applications is 9am on Monday 30th October 2023.

Applicants are required to complete a simple online form, summarising their qualifications, horticultural and/or other experience, current occupation or activity, and any other relevant points, as well as a clear indication of the amount of financial support they require and the specific purpose for which it is intended.

Successful applicants are confirmed in November and bursaries are awarded in December to be utilised during the following year.

Pat and Margaret Wells were, in turn, the wives of Paddy Wells, the late father of Clare, Helen and Brendan. Pat and Margaret shared a passion for gardening.

Pat was the gifted amateur with the painter’s eye for all that blooms.

Margaret, who lived and gardened in Cornwall for many years, was an experienced horticulturist. She scooped prize after prize for her gardens, which were often sculpted from barren earth and coaxed to spectacular maturity. Margaret was a CGS member from 1978 until her death in 2018. She won the Knibbs Memorial Cup at the CGS Spring Flower Show in 1981 and 1982 as well as prizes from Kerrier District Council for the beautiful garden she created at Little Antron in Mabe Burnthouse.

“This bursary has been established to support anyone who faces disadvantage in the pursuit of a career in horticulture, for whatever reason, and who seeks financial assistance in relation to course fees, travel expenses, or other study- or work-related expenditure,” explains CGS President & Interim Chairman, Andrew Leslie. “We are immensely grateful to Clare, Helen and Brendan Wells for their generosity in establishing this bursary in memory of their mothers to provide much-needed support for horticulturists in Cornwall and we hope to attract a wide range of applications.”

“Born in the 1920s, our mothers, Pat and Margaret, both wished to study horticulture themselves but never had the chance,” explained Clare Wells on behalf of her family. “We decided to offer a helping hand to up-and-coming gardeners by covering horticultural-related expenses, which ranged from a new laptop to enable home study; a Royal Horticultural Society course and chainsaw qualifications to undertake professional tree-felling and woodland management in the 2022/2023 cycle. We are looking forward to receiving and reviewing applications for 2023/2024, and hope that many people from across Cornwall will apply.”

The application form can be accessed here.

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