Monday, 16 October 2017
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MGAFairLilyThere is now an association in Portugal dedicated to plants and gardens of the mediterranean climate zones: MGAP (Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal).

MGAP was created and is maintained by an international group of enthusiastic volunteers – plant lovers, amateur and professional gardeners, landscape architects, botanists, etc. All are united by their shared interest and love for mediterranean plants, gardens and horticulture.

 

Mediterranean Garden Fair 2017 - Saturday October 28th from 11h to 16hMake it a date - the Algarve’s only specialist Plant Sale once again will be held at the Museo do Trajo, S. Brás de Alportel on Saturday October 28th opening to the public from 11.00 until 16.00.

Entry is still €1 per person, under-16s free, and there is parking around the Museo in São Bras.

LilyThis month, like March, is a pivotal month for refocusing, this time on winter. The more effort extended now should equal less work later. The idea of autumn planting is to beat the major winter rains so that roots establish over winter while benefiting from soil still warm.

Now is also the time to clear out all the old summer annuals and vegetables, tidy up perennials, and to prune, transplant, divide and mulch.

Avocado TreeJuly is another good month for enjoying the garden rather than for planting owing to the heat. The most important task now through to September is ensuring plants have sufficient water. Except for several native plants and well-established drought-resistant plants, all plants need regular watering.
Water large trees deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots, but avoid watering almond, olive, carob or fig trees.  Allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering as this will allow air to get into the soil and give oxygen to the roots. The best time to water is early in the day.

Spring has Sprung in the AlgarveSpring is a great time of year to see plants looking their best and temptations aplenty were on offer at the Spring Garden Fair on Saturday 4 March at Quinta da Figueirinha. The garden fairs, organised by the Mediterranean Garden Association for Portugal (MGAP), are popular fixtures in the gardening calendar and the hard working volunteers involved in the planning and organising really excelled themselves this time.
We were very pleased to have the support of Silves Camara and some great helpers from the local school (ESPAMOL), they are now all experts at organising a car park !

oranges2The largest collection of fruit trees in Portugal is in the Algarve, and the largest collection in the Algarve is at the Agricultural Experiment Centre in Tavira where 120 varieties of almond trees, 280 varieties of vine and 227 varieties of citrus are growing happily among many other unique varieties of trees that many thought extinct.

Agricultural engineers from the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Algarve (DRAPALG) have been collecting trees and vines from across the region, replanting and carefully studying specimens that form “the genetic heritage of the Mediterranean’s fruit trees.”

January in the gardenThe main tasks in the garden – pruning deciduous trees, pruning roses, bare-root planting – are projects which should be accomplished in January and not put off to February which will be too late.

Club founder, Elspeth Flood, cutting the cake On Saturday 17th September, 30 members of the club plus 28 guests got together at the beautiful home of Torunn and Jon Lange to celebrate 25 years since the formation of Clube Dos Bons Jardins, which is the second oldest English speaking gardening club in the Algarve.
We were blessed with good weather so started the party with drinks and canapés on the terrace looking out over the beautiful gardens to the Atlantic Ocean. We then retired into the welcome shade of the enormous garages which had been transformed into a wonderful party hall.