Diversity DiscoveredThe International  Spring  Conference  2016, Dry Gardens In The Mediterranean  

     cape2 Gecko visit image11

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The Mediterranean Gardening Association in Portugal held the 5th Spring Conference in 2016 in Lagos over the long holiday weekend 22 to 25 April.  The aim was  to reveal the practical and aesthetic benefits of making beautiful and sustainable gardens with plants of the Mediterranean and dry zone flora worldwide.

 

The weekend was also well supported by members of other Mediterranean garden groups from France and the UK from MGi  (Mediterranean Gardening International) – an international group of societies for people with an interest in Mediterranean plants and gardens. For many   it was their first visit to Portugal  and a chance to see the spring wildflower displays at their best.  A short pre tour visit to Sintra and Lisbon was organised for those interested in extending their visit to a very full seven days.

 

This Conference  looked at modern trends towards use of native plants from Mediterranean zones  for sustainable mediterranean gardens and how to unlock their huge future potential.  We were delighted to hear directly from Olivier Filippi on creating dry gardens in the Mediterranean and from Dr Ken Thompson on the tricky subject of Soils – The Final Frontier. The theme was illustrated by visits to contemporary gardens in the Algarve and appreciation of examples throughout Portugal from our panel of speakers.  Marilyn Medina Ribeiro opened the event with a look at various garden styles and illustrated these with projects completed on the Algarve for both small urban plots and larger countryside gardens. We were delighted to welcome Miguel Coelho de Sousa from Lisbon showing examples of current use for native and climate compatible plantings in larger landscape projects but he ended by showing lovely photos of his own private garden where he has put his ideas into action. We were brought up to date on the  ongoing project for use of Mediterranean plants in green roof construction by Teresa Paço of Lisbon University. The detailed research and data collection for the project will be invaluable in evaluating plants best suited to these  difficult conditions.

 

The Spring Conference included opportunities to see wonderful wild flowers and some notable local private gardens.  Private garden visits were offered as an optional extension to the Conference weekend and we were very grateful to the private garden owners who opened their homes and gardens to the visitors. Gardens visited ranged from small villa gardens where lawns had been swapped for borders filled with texture and colour to larger areas filled with spontaneous native  plants managed for diversity and year round interest.

 

We were also delighted to have three young professionals join us as sponsored attendees for the conference weekend. Becky Cross from the UK is a Professional Gardeners Guild trainee who visited the Algarve last year. Ana Luisa Oliveira has just been accepted onto a Diploma course at Kew Gardens with leave of absence from her work at the Serralves Foundation in Porto and Ana Luisa Gonzalez has just completed a massive research project on the old rose nurseries and rose varieties of Portugal in connection with the restoration of the Rose Garden at the Serralves.

 

Guided Wildflower walks visited  two distinct areas at the peak time for viewing plants, the biodiversity hotspots of Amoreira beach and the stunning location of Cape St Vincent on the Sagres peninsula.

 

 Amoreira beach was designated a Biodiveristy hotspot (Estação Bio-Diversidade) by the University of Lisbon and the Council of Aljezur  only in March 2016. The first site is a shale hill with many unusual species, leading into salt marshes. The trail followed an already marked footpath across the dunes  and was following in the famous footsteps of botanical author Oleg Polunin who wrote field guides to many Mediterranean regions. In addition to the unusually beautiful landscape, visitors were also able to learn about the main species the saw along the way. Our guide was Udo Schwarzer and he organised everyone into small groups for an informal species count exercise so that everyone could observe first  hand the diversity contained within a relatively small area.

Cape St Vincent  pensinsula was classified as a biogenetic reserve in 1988 owing to the high concentration of endemic  plants.  Both sites are in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, the finest preserved stretch of European coastline, covering over 100 km, from Porto Covo in the Alentejo, to Burgau in the Algarve. The Park includes various habitats and unique species of animal and plant life, and is visited by many zoologists and botanists from all parts of the world. Plant life includes  unique indigenous species such as Biscutella vicentina, Cistus palhinae and Plantago algarbiensis.  The group was led by Sue Parker, Pat O´Reilly and also had the wonderful opportunity to meet a specialist guide for Cape St Vincent, Ana Carla Cabrita.

 

Included as part of the weekend activities was the opportunity to meet the authors and buy copies of some of the most exciting new books in 2016. These included the newly published English edition by Olivier Filippi of Planting Design for Dry Gardens – Beautiful, resilient groundcovers for terraces, paved areas, gravel and other alternatives to the lawn.   Olivier was kept busy signing copies of the book and we sold out over the weekend !  The book launch and presentation by the authors for the updated and extended second edition of Algarve Wildlife – the natural year was also well attended. This is one of the most successful books about the Algarve and the new edition was available for the first time at this event.  There was also the range of native plant seed for sale from the Sementes de Portugal   native plant seed supplier and João Gomes was with us at  the conference to talk about this initiative.   A specialist plant nursery, Caminhos Sombreadas of Lagoa,  brought lovely plants for the meeting room display and for sale, and we were delighted to have Botanical Artist Suzie Puttick with us selling cards and prints of her beautiful paintings.

 

It was an extremely busy seven days but there were plenty of opportunities to meet old friends, catch up on gardening news from other groups and be inspired by the fantastic speakers.  There were relaxing evening dinners and much talk over the coffee cups, we learnt from each other and from our generous and inspiring speakers.  A great way to spend a springtime weekend on the Algarve.

 

Rosie Peddle

www.mediterraneangardeningportugal.org

 

 

Dry Gardens in the Mediterranean

“an  undiscovered  diversity”

22 – 25 April 2016   The conference will be based at the Vila Galé, Meia Praia, Lagos.

Keynote Speakers – Olivier Filippi and Dr Ken Thompson

Cistus ladanifer flower

Mediterranean Gardening Association of Portugal has organised a long weekend from Friday 22 to Monday 25 April with Olivier Filippi who will speak on “Dry gardening: a new inspiration for gardeners in the Mediterranean region”.  The book launch for the English edition of his second book will take place at the conference with the opportunity for you to have your book signed by the author. ‘Planting Design for Dry Gardens’ – beautiful, resilient groundcovers for terraces, paved areas, gravel and other alternatives to the lawn.

 

Dr Ken Thompson of Sheffield University will talk on “Soil, The Final Frontier  what goes on out of sight and what do we really  know about it”. He  has published widely on almost all aspects of plant ecology and writes regularly on gardening for the Daily Telegraph.  His new book ‘The Sceptical Gardener’  The Thinking Person’s Guide to Good Gardening will be published in November 2015.

 Garden winter view

There will be further informative talks, guided wildflower walks, private garden visits and relevant plants and books for sale. Guided wildflower walks to the rich Mediterranean flora of the Algarve region of southern Portugal, including the Cape St. Vincent Peninsula National Park, an area of immense botanical importance with numerous endemic and rare species. The area is also famous for birdwatching and the Sagres Peninsula and Cabo da São Vicente can be particularly rewarding.

For more details and to reserve your place contact Conference Organiser

Rosie Peddle rosie@thebtf.net   Tel 00351 289791869

www.mediterraneangardeningportugal.org

 

MGAP  Members and Friends

Annual General Meeting – Assembleia Geral
Veldthamia
Saturday April 2nd 2016

Annual General Meeting  / Assembleia Geral

and talk by   Dr Timothy Walker

 FROM DIAZ TO DIAMONDS

 

The western Cape region of South Africa is one of the most botanically diverse areas of the World.  This talk takes a route from the southernmost tip of Africa to the border with Namibia looking at the plants and the ethnobotany of one of the most fascinating countries in the World.

Timothy Walker  Director of the Oxford  Botanic Garden from 1973-1983. Curator of the Cambridge University Herbarium from 1947 to 1973 and was University Lecturer in Botany. Currently a stipendiary lecturer in Plant Sciences at Somerville College Oxford.  Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London.

The business meeting will be updated on the past year activities and there will be opportunities to hear about plans for the future and contribute in an informal discussion. Reports will be circulated before and only members are eligible to vote at the meeting.

ALL are welcome to attend the meeting and lunch – €5 entry fee for non members attending the talk.

Querença is a typical small village situated in the Loulé department, in the Algarve region, a place of natural and architectural beauty. The village, located on a low hillside, is characterized by its charming typical white houses with a coloured bar around windows and doors, and with the traditional Algarve chimneys, showing the influence of many years of Moorish occupancQuerenca squarey of the territory.
The Tasquinho do Lagar restaurant is the venue for our AGM and provides an excellent lunch at a reasonable price with typical Algarvian dishes and sumptuous desserts. Directions and more information on http://infolugares.pt/Loule/Tasquinha-Do-Lagar  GPS  37.197461,-7.98697

 

There will be a sales table for books on the wildflowers of the Algarve and the new Olivier Filippi book – Planting Designs for Dry Gardens

Costs:   Free to members and guests – AGM meeting

              €5 guests, talk entry fee  –  free for members    

 €20 per person  Lunch and afternoon Guided walk with leaflet.

                        Please book in   before March 25th

Orchis italica at Benemola

 

PROGRAMME 

10.00               Coffee available at Tasquinha do Lagar

10.30-11.30     AGM Business Meeting in Tasquinha do Lagar Restaurant

12 noon           Illustrated Talk by Timothy Walker in  Fundação Manuel Viegas Guerreiro Auditorium, Querença with book sales at the talk

13.30               Lunch in Tasquinha do Lagar

14.30               Guided Walks start at Fonte de Benemola

16.30               Disperse

 

PARKING is on the road sides in the town and near to the square, there is no parking in the square itself.

All bookings and enquiries to Burford Hurry Tel 289 417 023   Email burfordhpt@gmail.com

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

ASSOCIAÇÃO DE PLANTAS E JARDINS EM CLIMAS MEDITERRÂNICOS
Mediterranean Gardening Association – Portugal
Saturday 7 NOVEMBER 2015 11.00 – 16.00

Hello everyone,

Autumn rains have finally arrived, so the gardening year and planting season are already well underway. We should have good weather for our annual Garden Fair, but we have inside space with refreshments if needed. There has been a good response from local plant nurseries, but we also have some exciting new nurseries attending for the first time at this event.

The location of the fair this year is once again in the lower historic gardens of the Estoi Palace Pousada Hotel but please note that all parking will be in the same place as last year – the annual Horse Fair and monthly market site near the school and just to the south of the town centre in Estoi. This allows us to use the car park in the Pousada gardens for all the plant nurseries. Signs will be out on the day so please look out for MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN FAIR.

This year we will once again have a free shuttle bus running between the car park and the gardens but it is still possible to walk the short distance if you wish. In order to give the nurseries the chance to set out, display and price up plants we will not open to the public until the advertised time of 11.00am. There are many good local cafes in Estoi so why not park up and then stroll the short distance into the town for a coffee. Refreshments on site will be provided by the hotel but some cakes and savoury food will also be for sale in aid of local charities on the day. The entry charge this year will be €2 per person as our event costs have increased, we are sure the added attractions will add to your enjoyment on the day.

As the PLANT CRECHE was very popular last year, we will once again provide this so that you can make your purchases and then come and collect everything with your car at the end of your visit.

Roses for Mediterranean Gardens will be available from a wonderful new nursery attending from France, La Roseraie du Désert owned and run by John & Becky Hook. They will bring their special range of roses recommended for Mediterranean gardens. You can see more about them here www.frenchtearose.com They will accept pre-orders for delivery at the Garden Fair, although they will be leaving their nursery in France on Wednesday, so get in quick! Their full list and description of roses is on their web site.

MGAP will have bulbs for sale on the day, including Paperwhite Narcissus, Scilla peruviana and Amaryllis belladonna – all good size bulbs from Mediterranean bulb specialist, Bulbes’Argence and all recommended for naturalising. There will also be some Iris unguicularis, Tulbaghia and Sternbergia for sale. This replaces our usual Plant Sales table, which will be much reduced to allow us to focus on managing the event itself.

NEW FEATURES for this year include an Advice Panel operating throughout the day on various topics including fruit and vegetable growing – culinary, aromatic and medicinal herb advice from Fernanda Botelha – using exotics from other Mediterranean climate zones from Marilyn Medina Ribeiro – making dry gardens – using native plants. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions about composting with worms, and tree care and surgery. This is as well as answering your general plant and gardening queries. There will be new & second hand book sales, seed, plant labels and seed packets for sale. Another new feature will be some free circus workshop entertainment for our younger visitors, we want to encourage them to enjoy themselves as well !

The invited nurseries have been working hard on putting together a good range of plants suitable for our gardens, from fruit trees to succulents, we are certain that there will be something for everyone.

HOT OFF THE PRESS We are planning to offer decorative and useful metal plant obelisks for sale at our Bulb Sales table. These will be 1m and 1.5m high and ideal for large pots or in the ground.

You can also place pre orders for collection at the Fair from the following nurseries

Brookside Nurseries from Malaga will be at the Fair once again with their very special range of unusual plants. Alan Butler will accept pre-orders for you to collect at the fair. www.brookside-nursery.com and email alan-brook-side@hotmail.com

Jardimseco, Tavira http://www.paisotec.com/jsaboutus.html specialising in dry land, ground cover succulents contact jardimseco@paisotec.com TM 967 495 831

Marian Vanneste, Porches succulents, ornamentals and container plants
TM 968702836 or Email marvanneste@yahoo.co.uk

Unfortunately, owing to family illness, Tynings Nursery of Somerset will not be able to attend but you can see the fantastic range of their climbers http://www.tyningsclimbers.co.uk Mail order enquiries welcome to tynings.climbers@yahoo.co.uk

Our hard working volunteer helpers will be around in their yellow waistcoats if you need any help or information.

While thinking about our annual Garden Fair, we would welcome donations of your second hand gardening books at our sales table in the conference centre.

We will also have a very special offer for membership of our Association for Mediterranean Gardening in Portugal, those joining at the Garden Fair will be members through until December 2016 and will receive exclusive invites to Members Only events as well as early notice of all events. MGAP Members and their guests will have exclusive entry to the fair from 10.00am.

Please help to spread the word, pass on this news update and come along to join us in celebrating Mediterranean gardens and gardening, and the start of another glorious gardening year on the Algarve.

Hope to see you on Saturday 7 November, Best wishes, Rosie Peddle

Email rosie@thebtf.net TM 918 718 474

Small  & Specialist Nurseries

  Plant Clinic with advice panel on various topics including

plant identification, pests and diseases, fruit and veg growing.

NEW NURSERIES THIS YEAR INCLUDE ROSE SPECIALIST FOR MEDITERRANEAN GARDENS

Rose at palace

 Saturday, November  7th 2015

11.00am – 4.00pm

 Stalls view 2014

Estoi Palace Pousada Historic Gardens

Lunch & refreshments available

Ample free car parking on market site

Again for this year – free shuttle bus service !

Entry  €2 Children Free

 

Algarve’s only specialist Plant Sale !

For more details see www.mediterraneangardeningportugal.org

Contact. Rosie Peddle 289 791 869 or email rosie@thebtf.net

www.pousadasofportugal.com/portugal/pousada/estoi.html

 

With grateful thanks to, and in collaboration with

Junta de Fregusia do Conceição e Estoi

gate to lower gardens from hotel

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