Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal – MGAP/APEJECM

Spring Garden Fair, Quinta da Figueirinha, Silves

Saturday March 4th 11.00 – 16.00 Entry €1 per person


One of the aims of the Mediterranean Gardening Association here in Portugal over the past few years has been to encourage, if not actively pester, local plant nurseries to widen their range of plants. The smaller family run nurseries and garden centres which propagate their own stock have been responsive to our demands and, we hope, have benefited from the increasing demand for waterwise and robust plants. Plants which are native to Portugal, and also the wider range from other Mediterranean climate zones, provide rich pickings for our Algarve gardens.

The Spring event for 2017 will once again be in the lovely rural setting of the Quinta da Figueirinha near to Silves. There will be small and specialist nurseries, natural history and gardening book sales and native plant seed sales and advice from members together with tours of the Quinta. An opportunity to see a different range of plants from those offered at the Autumn Garden Fair. There will be specialist succulent nurseries, drought tolerant perennials, fruit trees and shrubs.

The main aim of the fair is to encourage gardeners to buy the right plants for our Mediterranean Algarve climate. With this in mind local nurseries are invited to sell their plants at the fair. This year apart from ornamental shrubs, trees and plants we want to emphasise The Edible Garden and so will encourage the sale of fruit trees, vegetable plants and herbs. It makes sense therefore to include invitations to wine producers in the area to participate.

In addition to the sale of plants there will be free talks on permaculture at 11.30am
‘An Introduction to Permaculture’, by Julia Thiemicke, and a presentation on ´Wormeries and Soil Improvement´ by Nelson Lourenço at 13.00. In addition, a speakers corner with a talk about the pH (relative acidity and alkalinity) of soils and an introduction to the exciting new MGAP project for an indigenous plant demonstration garden which is on the same site as the Spring Fair.

Best of all perhaps is the chance to see selected specialist nurseries coming together in one place to show the best of their plants for sale. At the same time you will have the opportunity to talk to them about those plants and how to get the best performance from them. Spring is a great time of year to see plants looking their best and ready to go into the ground before the summer heat, come along on March 4 and you will find plenty of choice for your garden.

The Fair will be open from 11.00 to 16.00. Free parking on site, plant creche and catering available. Entry fee €1.
For more information see

and Quinta Web site


Algarve’s only specialist Plant Sale


Museo de S. Brás de Alportel
Saturday October 29 11.00 – 16.00
Entry €1, under 16s free

The annual Autumn Fair organised by the Association for Mediterranean Gardens and Plants

11:30 – Daisy Mae, from Ceratonia will tell us about producing aromatic herbal medicinal effects with your favourite plants that are well adapted to the Algarve (in English)

13:00 – Arq. Paisagista Gonçalo Duarte Gomes, will talk on An Oasis Close at Hand addressing the issue of sustainability in gardens in the Algarve (in Portuguese with English translation)

14:30 – Fernanda Botelho, on Herbs and Spices in Portuguese Cuisine, contemporary uses and traditional uses; how they can be used to treat people and plants (in Portuguese)

• Plants and seeds adapted to the Mediterranean climate for sale with information and advice from the nursery owners
• Books on gardening in the Mediterranean
• Organic produce and essential oils
• Refreshments

With grateful thanks to, and in collaboration with, Museo de Traje and Câmara Municipal de Saõ Brás de Alportel.

Contact for further information: MGAP web site and
Facebook Mediterranean Gardeners – Portugal Facebook event page

Directions Map and location and web site Museum web site

GPS / Coordenadas GPS: N37,152617, W7.885442
Museo de Traje, R. Dr. José Dias Sancho 61, 8150-141 São Brás de Alportel Tel 289 840 100

Única Feira Algarvia de Plantas Mediterrânicas

Museo de S. Brás de Alportel
Sabado October 29 11.00 – 16.00
Entrada €1, menores de 16s gratuita

A Feira Anual de Outono organizado pela Associação para os Plantas e Jardins em Clima Mediterrânico

Apresentações –
11:30 – Daisy Mae, da empresa Ceratonia nos falará sobre produzir ervas aromáticase os efeitos medicinais das suas plantas favoritas e que estão bem adaptadas ao Algarve (em inglês).

13:00 – O Arq. Paisagista Gonçalo Duarte Gomes, com uma palestra com o título Um Oásis à Mão de Semear abordará a questão da sustentabilidade dos jardins no Algarve (em português com tradução Inglês).

14:30 – Fernanda Botelho, que nos falará de Ervas aromáticas e especiarias na cozinha portuguesa, usos contemporâneos e usos tradicionais; como podem ser usadas no tratamento de pessoas e plantas (em português ).

• Plantas e sementes adaptadas ao clima mediterrânico para a venda com informações e conselhos dos viveiristas
• Livros sobre jardinagem no Mediterrâneo
• Produtos orgânicos e óleos essenciais
• Serviço de bar e lanches

Com sincero agradecimento, e em colaboração com, Museo de Traje, e a Câmara Municipal de São Brás de Alportel.

Contato para mais informações: MGAP web site
Facebook Mediterranean Gardeners – Portugal Facebook event page

Instruções mapa e orientações web site web site link

Coordenadas GPS: N37,152617, W7.885442

Museo de Traje, R. Dr. José Dias Sancho 61, 8150-141 São Brás de Alportel
Tel 289 840 100



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

     cape2 Gecko visit image11




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



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   Tel 00351 289791869


MGAP  Members and Friends

Annual General Meeting – Assembleia Geral
Saturday April 2nd 2016

Annual General Meeting  / Assembleia Geral

and talk by   Dr Timothy Walker



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  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



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

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