Publications


Meet the Authors

Saturday April 5th, 2014

at 2.00pm,

Quinta da Figueirinha,

Silves

Presented by new Association for Mediterranean Gardeners in Portugal
We are very pleased to confirm that both authors will be present at the only book launch event on the Algarve for the newly published Kew Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve. There will be a short presentation on Algarve wild flowers and the opportunity to meet the authors, Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock, together with tours of the Quinta. We will also have copies of the book available to buy at a discounted special price, the books are not yet available to buy locally.

This is the first comprehensive identification guide 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 Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and this guide is the essential companion for wildlife tourists, and the first comprehensive easy-to-use identification guide to its wild flowers.

Information is provided on where and when to see plants with information on their habitat and vegetation types. In addition rare and unusual plants of the region are highlighted, including orchids and parasitic plants. With over 1,000 species descriptions, the book is abundantly illustrated throughout with over 650 stunning colour photographs, 780 line drawings and distribution maps.

Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve, by Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock
(Kew Publishing 2014) ISBN 978 1 84246 497 7

Directions to Quinta da Figueirinha are available on http://www.qdf.pt/en/Contact_Us
Author information
Chris Thorogood studied parasitic plant biology for his PhD at the University of Bristol where he then worked as a postdoctoral researcher. Chris has taught field courses to university students with Simon Hiscock in the Algarve since 2006, during which time they documented the flora of the region, and he currently studies the flora of the western Mediterranean basin and has a particular interest in parasitic plant speciation.

Simon Hiscock is Professor of Botany in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Bristol and Director of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. He has lead botanical field courses in the Algarve since 2002 and his main areas of research include plant evolutionary genetics and plant reproduction.

We will also be holding our first AGM for the newly registered Mediterranean Gardening Association – Portugal on Saturday April 5th at Quinta da Figueirinha and all are very welcome to come along.
Web site: http://www.qdf.pt
All are welcome to join us for this very special opportunity to meet the authors and tour Quinta da Figueirinha with guided wildflower walks.

Further information from rosie@thebtf.net

 

We have just learned of an exciting new addition to the books available on the wild flowers of the Algarve which will be published by Kew.
• The most comprehensive field guide to the wild flowers of the Algarve written to date
• The first identification guide to the flora of the Algarve written to appeal to both amateur naturalists and professional botanists alike
• 680 unique line drawings to complement the text and aid easy and reliable identification
• 470 unique colour photographs which beautifully depict the plants in their natural habitat, and aid identification
• 996 species descriptions which are designed for quick and easy identification in the field
• Introductory passages which include information on climate, geology, agriculture, wild flower classification, and flower morphology.
Description
This is the first comprehensive identification guide 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 Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe (it receives more than 7 million tourists per annum), and this guide is the essential companion for wildlife tourists, and the first comprehensive easy-to-use identification guide to its wild flowers.
Information is provided on where and when to see plants with information on their habitat and vegetation types. In addition rare and unusual plants of the region are highlighted, including orchids and parasitic plants. With over 1,000 species descriptions, the book is abundantly illustrated throughout with over 650 stunning colour photographs, 780 line drawings and distribution maps.
BIC codes: WNP, PSAB, WTL
Author information
Chris Thorogood studied parasitic plant biology for his PhD at the University of Bristol where he then worked as a postdoctoral researcher. Chris has taught field courses to university students with Simon Hiscock in the Algarve since 2006, during which time they documented the flora of the region, and he currently studies the flora of the western Mediterranean basin and has a particular interest in parasitic plant speciation.

Simon Hiscock is Professor of Botany in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Bristol and Director of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. He has lead botanical field courses in the Algarve since 2002 and his main areas of research include plant evolutionary genetics and plant reproduction.

 

For more information, publication scheduled for February 2014.

http://www.kewbooks.com/asps/ForthcomingDetails.asp?id=1030

Auriol: in charge of developing Euroflor meadow mixes at Tezier facility for parent company DLF France – image: HW

Urban flower meadows are popping up all over the UK. Natural-looking but carefully designed replacements for traditional bedding schemes or turfed areas that flower for up to six months, meadow mixes have been available for two decades, primarily aimed at those who want to attract birds and pollinators.

But since they wowed Londoners and visitors in the Olympic Park, there has been an explosion of public meadow sites across the land, with local authorities in particular interested in their claimed potential to save money on maintenance while being loved by the public.

Highly versatile

Flower meadows are versatile, with mixes created for high, low and shady areas. There are also dry climate, perfume, colour-coded and part-edible meadows.

It is under the blazing Mediterranean sun that the delicately balanced mixes that produce many of these meadows are developed.

Valence seed breeder Tezier has spent a decade trialling meadow mixes for parent company DLF France marketed under the Euroflor brand, sold in the UK by Rigby Taylor. Olivier Auriol is in charge of their development, after clocking up a quarter of a century’s experience with the company.

“So far our biggest market is in France, the UK and Germany. We are developing in Scandinavia,” he says. “In France the market is in home gardening and agriculture, in Germany mostly landscaping. In the UK it is landscaping and home gardening.”

The Euroflor mixes only entered the UK market five years ago, but sales are exploding – up 50 per cent year-on-year in July and 30 per cent in each of the three years before that.

Howard Wood of Rigby Taylor research arm Grass Engineering says an increasing interest in sustainability as well as saving money is behind the sales boom, with clients ranging from local authorities and golf clubs to schools and universities, which all benefit from Rigby Taylor’s technical back up.

“What’s important in the UK in comparison with France is golf courses,” says Auriol. “Golf courses are quite new. The Olympic gardens gave a push but until this year it was not such a big market for us. There’s much more green space in the UK than in France so there’s more opportunity.”

There are 30 mixes being trialled at the Tezier facility, with more growing at UK sites including St Thomas’s Hospital and opposite the Palace of Westminster in London as well as 10 plots at All Turf in Cheshire as DLF sees how they do in the British climate before introducing them to the market.

While Wood says it is too early to analyse the results, he points out that Rigby Taylor already has a lot of data from southern England and is now focusing on mixes that perform best in the cooler north.

Soil is less of a factor. “Some species like lupin don’t grow in very acidic soil but generally soil type doesn’t matter,” Auriol explains. “But the mixes require a lot less water than grasses.”

While Wildflowerturf created a stunning effect by adding Euroflor to pep up its turf used in the Olympic stadium during the London 2012 opening ceremony, the meadow mixes are not designed to be added to grass. “There’s a lot of stupid things said about wild flowers – people think you can just sow them in the grass but it’s not possible,” says Auriol.

He recommends removing all vegetation and using a layer of 90 per cent builder’s sand to soil, which allows the seed to stick, then back rake. For every square metre of sloping or bird-prone soil, 5g of seed should be sown, although 3g is sufficient for flat surfaces.

After sowing, meadow plots must be kept permanently moist for the first three weeks as the seeds germinate. After that they can be left unwatered unless the weather is hot.

This year, Tezier is trialling both old and new varieties, with some mixes being planted three times in different months so visitors can see how different species flower at different times of the year.

Among those DLF France is assessing for possible 2014 UK release are Oceanique, the low-growing long-lasting Carnival mix and a European red field poppy-heavy mix developed to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Interestingly, Tezier is developing a parallel blue cornflower mix for the same reason because blue – the colour of French uniforms of the period – is the colour that French people associate with remembrance.

Complex process

Deciding on a mix composition is only half the process. Seeds must be grown on nearby farms, harvested, dried, cleaned, weighed, tested and packed before being shipped. There are 30 sorting machines at the company’s nearby factory and the seeds are rigorously tested for germination at each stage.

This process can take up to a month, with some seeds at the factory, which also processes Claude vegetable seed mixes for UK sale by Suttons Seeds, Unwins and Nickersons, taking up to three months to process and costing up to EUR300,000 per kilo.

Once packaged, mixes are ready to ship with one last tip. Auriol says some operators need to be reminded that different-sized seeds separate in transit and must be re-mixed before sowing. He advises mixing seeds in buckets with sand and for novices to do a dummy run with sand to ensure even coverage.

Meadow flower mix Candidates for potential release next year

– Oceanique

Features Californian poppies, sweet williams, perennial flax and viper bugloss. Olivier Auriol says: “They grow over the winter, resist frost and grow again in May. The mix is loved by pollinators, especially bees.”

– Carnaval/Carnival

Features Dimorphotica, morning glory, love in the mist, ornamental grass and English marigold. Auriol says: “This mix is not too high, which means you can see the mix easily and the ground cover is spectacular.”

– Commemoration mix

Features European-native field poppies (Papaver rhoeas). Auriol says: “We tried several different mixes because poppies only flower for 15 days.”

Report from Horticulture Week news pages 22 November 2013

http://www.algarveresident.com/0-53677/algarve/those-blessed-cursed-volunteers-weeds

The latest article in the series on gardening on the Algarve. This time by experienced gardener Burford Hurry.

Burford advises us to observe those plants that come along without our intervention and provide colour and interest through the spring and early summer.

 

A edição de junho da revista nacional jardinagem Jardins já está disponível. Este mês, ele se concentra em jardinagem Mediterrâneo e há artigos de Jean-Paul Brigand, Claudia Schwarzer e eu!

 

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