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The MGAP Spring Garden Fair escaped the worstDespite the run up to this years Spring Garden Fair being dogged by much needed heavy rain, not so welcome howling winds and even a mini tornado across the Algarve, the event went ahead as planned. On the day the rain held off until early afternoon, giving the 350 or so visitors the chance to buy from small nurseries and growers offering a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees for sale. Some visitors, we learned, had travelled long distances to take advantage of the unique opportunity to buy from the specialist nurseries gathered together for the day.

Top Algarve landscape gardener launches consultancyRenowned landscape gardener Steve Townson, of Green Fingers’ fame, has launched a bespoke garden consultancy based on over 30 years’ experience designing, landscaping and maintaining some of the most prestigious gardens in the Algarve.

Working hand-in-hand with a keen, new landscaping and garden maintenance company, Steve offers everything from on-site consultancy to project management. Whether you are creating a new garden, or wanting to inject fresh life into an established one, Steve’s extensive knowledge and advice will ultimately save you time and money.

Mediterranean Gardeners throng to São Bras for Garden Fair The Mediterranean Garden Fair held in São Bras de Alportel on Saturday October 28 was the most successful yet and attracted 1800 visitors, a record breaking attendance for the event in its eighth year. This is a wonderful response and we would like to thank everyone who supported our exhibitors and speakers.

The weather was perfect and the excellent help given by São Bras Camara, the Bombeiros and the Amigos do Museu all combined to make the day run smoothly. The organisers work with a wonderful group of volunteers who make the event very special by giving their time on the day to help visitors. When the gates opened to the public at 11.00 am the plant nurseries and other activities were all in place for the rush of enthusiastic gardeners.

November in the gardenNovember is the time to finish off all the autumn projects, such as planting and clearing out. If the expected rains arrive, they will provide a bit of a natural clean-up but you should be prepared by having tidied up old beds.

MEDITERRANEAN GADERN FAIR - 28th October- click for details (here)

Shrubs and young treesIf any are growing in the wrong places, from now through to January is the best time to relocate them.

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.”

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