Merlin Trust - grants for young horticulturists

News

Alpine Garden Society Tours to Romania in 2017

The Merlin Trust and the Alpine Garden Society offer two fully funded placements on the upcoming AGS Tour to Romania in June-July 2017 PLUS one fully funded 2-3 week work placement with Munich Botanic Gardens in Summer 2017. (Click on image to expand poster below into window.)

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AGS flyer

 

To download a copy of the poster in pdf format click here.

Please click go to our MT/AGS joint tours page, via our menu on the left of this page or by clicking here.

Email info@merlin-trust.org.uk for further infomation.

 

 

To download a (Word version) copy of the Application form for the 2017 AGS tour please click here.

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Press release: Merlin Trust announces 2017 travel opportunities for young horticulturists plus 2016 prizewinners and new Secretary

Young horticulturists are being encouraged to apply for support from Merlin Trust, a charity that gives grants for travel to see plants in the wild and in cultivation throughout the world.

While the Trust accepts applications throughout the year on a rolling basis, in the coming year it is also collaborating with the Alpine Garden Society (AGS) and Munich Botanic Gardens to provide structured opportunities for early career gardeners.

Merlin Trust has worked with the Alpine Garden Society since the turn of the Millennium to offer jointly funded places on their botanical tours. In 2017, two places will be offered on the AGS tour to Romania in June-July, which will be led by Razvan Chisu. Click here to go tio AGS tours page.

Merlin Trust is also collaborating with Munich Botanic Garden to offer the first annual funded work placement in Munich's Alpine horticulture team. It will be for 2 to 3 weeks between June and August 2017. The successful applicant will work alongside alpine specialists both in the Botanic Garden in Munich and in its satellite high altitude garden in the Bavarian Alps. The placement is designed to offer experience in this specialist field of horticulture as well as being a great opportunity to see alpine flora in its natural setting. The renowned alpine collection - more than 3,000 species from every continent - is displayed in Munich's Alpine House, in its 100-year-old Rock Garden and in the 115-year-old Schachengarten at 1,800m above sea level. Accommodation will be arranged by the Botanic Garden and there is no requirement to speak German as there are English-speakers in the team.

In 2014/15 Merlin Trust awarded 35 grants to horticulturists, who undertook a wide range of fieldwork and garden visits, from New Zealand to NE USA. Each recipient submits a report to the Trust as a condition of their award. In 2015/16 the £500 prize for best report went to Robert Burstow (PGG Trainee) who travelled to the Algarve with the Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal. The £500 prize for best photography went to John Cookson (RHS Wisley Diploma Student) who travelled to the USA for a study tour of the gardens of Philadelphia and New York.

To be eligible for support, applicants must be under 35 years old or in the first five years of their career in horticulture. Once they receive their award they are known as ‘Merlins’.

The new Secretary to the Trust is a Merlin: Sarah Carlton, who took over as Secretary in June 2016 and works at RHS Wisley as a Horticulturist in the Alpine Team, travelled to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in Yunnan, China in 2011 with support from the Trust.

Munich Botanic Garden Work placement Summer 2017

In collaboration with Munich Botanic Garden, in 2017 Merlin Trust is offering the first annual funded work placement in Munich's Alpine horticulture team. It will be for 2 to 3 weeks between June and August 2017 (to be agreed with the successful applicant).

The successful applicant will work alongside alpine specialists both in the Botanic Garden in Munich and in its satellite high altitude garden in the Bavarian Alps, Schachengarten. The placement is designed to offer experience in this specialist field of horticulture as well as being a great opportunity to see alpine flora in its natural setting.

The renowned alpine collection - more than 3,000 species from every continent - is displayed in Munich's Alpine House, in its 100-year-old Rock Garden and in the 115-year-old Schachengarten at 1,800m above sea level. Accommodation will be arranged by the Botanic Garden and there is no requirement to speak German as there are English-speakers in the team.

Alpine Garden Society Tours to Turkey in 2016

The Merlin Trust and the Alpine Garden Society offered two fully funded placements on the upcoming AGS Tour to Turkey in March 2016.

Please click go to our MT/AGS joint tours page, via our menu on the left of this page or by clicking here.

Email info@merlin-trust.org.uk for further infomation

Katie Price appointed as newest trustee.

The trustees would like to welcome Katie as the newest trustee and are looking forward to her contributing to the running of the Merlin Trust.  Katie is an experienced traveller, gardener and writer and brings great enthusiasm and experience of horticultural related travel.  Katie recently wrote an article about the Merlin Trust for the Alpine Garden Society Journal, please click here to view.

Bill Baker stands down

Bill Baker has decided to stand down as a Trustee with immediate effect. His sound common sense and practical approach to the day to day running of the Merlin Trust has been greatly appreciated and will be much missed.

Jonathon-Chevenix Trench retires

Johnathon -Chevenix Trench retired as a Trustee, with effect from July 2011, after serving many years in the post. The Trustees would like to record their thanks for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Trust and, in particular, for his advice on financial matters.

AGS Tours information

The Merlin Trust, together with the Alpine Garden Society, offers grants for a limited number of places on tours run by AGS Tours Ltd. For details contact either the Trust or AGS (click here to go to the AGS web site).

Fiona Crumley retires

Fiona Crumley the Trust’s long-serving secretary retired in July. Her tenure of the post ensured that over 500 Merlins were able to undertake their projects secure in the knowledge that their objectives were properly represented. Chairman, Brent Elliott , thanked Fiona for her in-put and that the invitation extended to her to join the Board of Trustees, indicated the value of continuity.

New Secretary Appointed

Joanne EversonJoanne Everson is appointed as the new secretary of the Merlin Trust. After leaving Writtle College with a horticultural degree, Joanne spent 3 years with the National Trust as a gardener in Kent, following on from a sandwich year working for them in Buckinghamshire.

For nearly the past ten years she has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew where she is the Team Leader of the Rock Garden. During this time she has been a recipient of two Merlin Awards, in 2002 trekking in the mountains of Bhutan and in 2009 visiting various mountains habitats in Yunnan, China.

The Chairman welcomed Joanne Everson’s appointment as Secretary, adding that having the first-hand experience of a past Merlin as part of the Administrative team, would be of immense benefit to the Trust.

Royalties received

The trust has now receieved royalties from the sale in Europe of Cercis canadensis Lavender Twist' and is grateful to the grower, Tim Brotzman for this generous donation.

Merlins benefit from generous gift

Since 1990 The Merlin Trust has assisted over 550 young gardeners, plants–people and horticulturists to travel Lavendar Twist plant pictureand experience plants in the wild and in cultivation all over the world as well as in the UK. As a small charity the Merlin Trust is very fortunate to receive royalties from the European sales of Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’ Lavender Twist ® and is grateful to Tim Brotzman the grower, for this generous donation.

Valerie Finnis and her husband Sir David Scott befriended many young horticulturists over the years and Tim Brotzman was one such student, an American nurseryman who met the Scotts when he was studying in the UK. To mark his appreciation of their friendship he offered the Trust the royalties from the European sales of a new plant, Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’ Plant Patent No. 10328, also marketed as LAVENDER TWIST® or the Weeping Redbud.

Lavendar TwistTim first successfully propagated this unique new form of Cercis canadensis in 1991 after having been made aware of the parent plant’s existence in the garden of Miss Connie Covey in Westfield, New York. Miss Covey’s specimen was approximately 35 years old and pendulous in habit reaching a height of 4.5 feet tall by 7 feet wide and with a trunk diameter of over 6 inches. This specimen had a unique pendulous habit and zigzagging branches causing Tim to comment that it was covered in Lavender Twists.

Tim bought the propagation rights to the tree and transplanted the parent plant to his family nursery in Madison, Ohio. Unlike most redbud which can grow late into the autumn, Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’ typically goes dormant before the first frost, thus enhancing winter hardiness. Leaves are dark green, slightly larger than normal and are held in such a way to make the plant appear to have been “shingled.” Lavender flowers are typical of the specie and are borne profusely on young plants. When staked, one year old whips can reach 6 to 7 feet and young branched plants vigorously develop into fine specimens.

To read more about Brotzman’s Nursery and Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’ follow the links www.lavendertwist.com and www.brotzmansnursery.com

 

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