http://www.jardinshistoricos.pt

Gardens are an indispensable part of society. Amongst the existing gardens, a particular kind stand as monuments for their heritage and beauty: the historic gardens. They represent the testimony of a past society in the landscape. The historic gardens are living art objects, a legacy from our ancestors and cultural landscape that we admire and ought to protect, understand and defend.

The historic gardens are a living patrimony which makes their maintenance sometimes very difficult. Frequently, their owners cannot face the maintenance of their gardens by themselves. Gathering these owners towards a common goal – the preservation of historic gardens – was one of the factors that led to the creation of the Portuguese Association of Historic Gardens and Sites.

The APJSH was established in 2003 due to the need to highlight and preserve the patrimony of Portuguese landscape art.

This initiative was launched by a team of professionals – currently members of the Board of Directors of the Association – and many owners aware of the fragile situation of their heritage scattered throughout the country. All together we believed that the recreational, economic and historic value of the gardens should be considered a repository of the Portuguese culture.

The APJSH now includes historic garden owners, landscape architects with a experience in the requalification of these areas, teachers in the field of garden art history, agronomy and forestry, jurists, economists and architects, of about two hundred members.

The professional objectives of APJSH are to increase the value, to maintain and conserve the historic gardens and sites, both public and private, that are viewed as areas of aesthetic value, and with a scientific, cultural, educational and landscape interest; represents and supports its members and owners; collaborates with the public administration, namely with the Portuguese Government, in the study and preparation of legal and regulatory diplomas, as well as projects that financially support the conservation and restoration of gardens.

The first three years were important to consolidate and to demonstrate the professional quality of the Association in relation to its members with the submission of applications for funds, namely the EEA Grants Program, in partnership with several of the associated historic gardens. Regarding the first application for funds, the Association was proud to be selected, amongst more than 150 applicants, in a project for the restoration of the hydraulic structures of twelve historic gardens.

In order for us to further strengthen the sense of better defences for the historic gardens we need to grow…become a member and support the work of APJSH. Membership form available on request from rosie@thebtf.net