Mediterranean Gardening France

Mediterranean Gardening France
February 2015
Dear members and friends
Gardens in the Vaucluse – chez Frances, Eric et Françoise, et Christine
After a mild December and January the cold and snow has come as a bit of a shock. Gill Pound
“Although the mild winter has encouraged some plants to come into growth, the vast majority will
recover, even if the tips of stems have been frosted. Once the danger of severe cold has passed
(usually around the end of Feb/mid March) you can cut back frosted growth to a healthy, new
bud, to prevent further die back and encourage plants to produce fresh, new shoots. If you are
worried about small, tender plants (especially if they have been recently planted) you can dig
them up and take them into a greenhouse or veranda, most will soon produce new growth and
recover. It is important to keep an eye on newly-planted specimens since they will often lift
themselves partly out of the ground if there is a hard frost straight after planting. Check them
regularly and re-firm the ground around them to ensure their roots are always in contact with the
Programme of activities in France
Thursday 26 February, 10.00am, Cesseras (34)
Lecture by Anthony Noel: Garden design for small spaces
A lecture entitled Great Little Gardens: Enclosed gardens, courtyards, roof terraces – how to bring
style into small spaces. Anthony is a British garden designer and author with experience of
gardening in Morocco. The talk will be in Cesseras and will be followed by lunch at the home of
Liz and Jacques Thompson. Gill Pound will bring along some of her plants - let her know if you
have any particular requirements.
Wednesday 25 March, 10.30am, Mormoiron (84)
Workshop on olives and olive trees
Célia Gratraud, consultant in oléiculture (and daughter of Elisabeth
and Jean), will talk to us about how to care for olive trees and use one
of the many trees in Sandra and Allan Cooper's garden to
demonstrate the art of pruning. Participants may bring their own tools
and try out their skills on Sandra's trees, under Célia's supervision.
Célia will also show us how to taste olive oils, demonstrating oils from Provence and from
Languedoc, and members are encouraged to bring along oil from their own olive trees so that we
can compare different styles. Kevan Kristjanson will also join in, with ideas about how to cure
olives and prepare them for use in the kitchen.
Please bring along a dish for sharing at lunch time. Workshop limited to 25 people.
Fully booked, waiting list open.
Thursday 9 April, 10.30am, Rougiers (83)
Propagation workshop by Sylvie and Christian Mistre, Pépinière La Soldanelle
Sylvie and Christian Mistre will show us how to sow, transplant seedlings, and grow cuttings of
plants typical of mediterranean gardens. In addition we will have a hands-on session where every
participant will make his or her own sowings and cuttings. Coffee will be ready at 10.30 am and
we finish roughly at 4 pm, with a picnic around noon.
The price of 20€ per person includes the workshop, the pots and potting soil, morning coffee and
an aperitif at noon.
The number of participants is limited to 15.
Fully booked, waiting list open.
Wednesday 29 April, 10.30am, La Garde and Hyères (83)
Visit to a private garden and Iris en Provence
In the morning Chantal Guiraud has arranged for us to visit the
garden of M and Mme Navarro, where many varieties of succulents
and cacti are arranged in mixed beds with perennials. They also
have a collection of tropical plants which they over-winter in their
After a restaurant lunch, June Grindley has organised a visit to the
iris specialist nursery, Iris en Provence, in Hyères.
There is a limit of 25 places for the garden visit, but unlimited
places for the lunch and nursery visit.
Garden visit fully booked but places available for lunch and Iris en Provence.
Tuesday/Wednesday 5/6 May, villages in the north Vaucluse (84)
MGF Second Annual General Meeting and programme of activities
The 2015 AGM will take place on Tuesday 5 May in Crestet, a village just south of Vaison-laRomaine. The programme of activities will begin in the morning with a visit to gardens in
Cairanne,, followed by a picnic lunch and a winetasting. The AGM will be in the early evening and afterwards dinner has been organised at a
nearby restaurant, La Fleur Bleue. On Wednesday we will visit a private garden then explore a
natural site next to the Ouvèze river, l'espace botanique des Piboules
Jennifer Hastings and Kevan Kristjanson, who are organising the programme of events, will also
be glad to lead a walk on Mont Ventoux on the Monday for anyone who would like to arrive one
day earlier. Accommodation will be in members’ homes or local chambres d’hôtes.
Wednesday/Thursday 10/11 June, Quercy (46)
Two days exploring the landscape, nurseries and gardens of Quercy
On Wednesday we will spend a full day with Fréderic Prévot,
visiting his nursery in Escamps, Les Senteurs du Quercy which specialises in salvias, iris
and lavender, and walking on the Causses plateau to view the wild
flowers. On the Thursday we will visit the, Les jardins de Quercy in
Verfeil-sur-Seye, followed by
lunch in the garden of member, Liz Godfrey, in Najac.
Photo: Flore des Causses du Quercy
To book a place for activities in France, contact Christine Savage: [email protected]
International activities
Recently announced events in other countries are listed below. For a full list of international
events, look on the MGF website:
22 – 29 May, Pelion, Greece
A botanical painting course - Mediterranean plants from the hills and shores of South
The course, set in a hotel run by a British/French couple, is suitable for beginners and
intermediates. All drawing and painting materials will be supplied, unless participants wish to
bring their own. The tutor, Maggie Niagassas, has lived amongst mediterranean plants and
flowers for 35 years. Pelion, a green and unspoilt corner of Greece, is home to more than 1,500
plants and trees.
Contact: Sue Wake [email protected]
Sunday 12 to Wednesday 15 July, Herefordshire, UK
A tour of some special gardens in the countryside on the England/Wales border
This tour, based in Ross on Wye, will visit seven beautiful gardens created in different styles.
Included are designer Arne Maynard's private garden, a 15th century castle garden, a
Herefordshire take on Mediterranean planting, a Tom Stuart Smith garden and the Laskett, the
famous garden of Sir Roy Strong. There will also be a talk by Peter Dowle who worked with
James Basson to deliver the award-winning Mediterranean garden After the Fire at Chelsea in
Contact: Heather Martin [email protected]
Fully booked, waiting list open.
Other dates for your Diary
Plant fairs and open gardens
28/29 March
29 March
18/19 April
23/28 April
15/16/17 May
Fête des Jardins
Plantes Rares et jardin naturel
Les Floriales – Marché aux plantes, concours photos
Les Journées des Plantes de Courson
Sophia Antipolis (06)
Montpellier (34)
Sérignan-du-Comtat (84)
Mazamet (81)
Domaine de Chantilly (60)
Hortus Programme
For information on Hortus activities contact Chantal Maurice at [email protected] or go
to the website
Spring courses at La Petite Pépinière, Caunes-Minervois (11) – tutored by Gill Pound
Pruning: Wednesday 18th March, 10am to 4pm
An introduction to the principles and practice of pruning, why, when and how. Practical work will
be included and the focus will be on plants frequently found in gardens in the region.
Propagation: Thursday 19th March, 10am to 4pm
An introduction to the principles of propagation - how to increase your own plants by layering,
division, seeds and cuttings. Plenty of practical work included.
Course fee for each of the days: 45€. For further information contact [email protected]
News and information
Mediterranean Gardening France website
Go to the ‘What’s New?’ page to see a summary of material added recently
Highlights include:
A new seed list for 2015. Over 100 new varieties have been added,
including some interesting hardy succulent seeds contributed by Tony
Moreno, a succulent specialist based in Mallorca.
Do have a look at the list and send your order to Chantal. As always, if you
have plant photos to fill in any of the gaps I’d be pleased to receive them.
Photo: Astrophytum myriostigma
To go with the new seed list, Chantal has written an article about the
different types of grasses on the list and how to use them in the garden.
Photo: Briza media
New Group Coordinator for Provence/Côte d’Azur
After serving with June Grindley for several years as co-group coordinator for the eastern side of
Mediterranean France, Carol Connolly has asked to step down since she is now working in the
UK and unable to spend much time in France. We’re sorry to lose her and thank her very much
for her contribution to the running of the association. Fortunately for us, Nicola d’Annunzio, who
lives in Lorgues and has hosted events in the past, has volunteered to take Carol’s place. Nicola
will be working with June on the forthcoming programme of activities in the Var and AlpesMaritimes. You can contact Nicola at [email protected] .
German contribution to Mediterranean gardening
I have received this letter from Andrew Hornung:
“I am trying to get a picture of the contribution of Germans (gardeners, designers, botanists, nurserymen,
patrons) to horticulture in the Mediterranean. In Italy, which I know quite well, German gardeners were
active in just about every region in the 19th century and up to WW1; German nurserymen were important
there both in the 19th century and up to WW2; Germans also owned a number of important gardens in Italy
in the 19th century and after, and German botanists had a certain impact in Italy, particularly in the first
quarter of the twentieth century.
But what of the South of France? You who live and garden there will know and I would be grateful if you
could give me the benefit of your knowledge. Please email me at [email protected] or, if you prefer,
write to Andrew Hornung, Rectory Farmhouse, Church Enstone, Chipping Norton, OX7 4NN.”
FAIM de TERRE: projet à soutenir
Louisa Jones writes:
« Projet bien modeste contre l’artificialisation des sols, film en cours de production arrêtée par
manque de fonds, appel à l’aide…Voir aussi les excellentes lettres de soutien sur cette page... »
En 50 ans, 7 million d'hectares agricoles ont disparus en France soit l'équivalent d'un stade de foot toutes les
7 minutes. Ce phénomène d'artificialisation des terres est non seulement irréversible, mais il va en
s'amplifiant. En Provence, tous les trois ans, c'est l'équivalent en superficie de la ville de Marseille qui
disparaît de nos cartes et de nos paysages. Faim De Terre suit du champ au parking le phénomène
d'artificialisation des sols. Filmé en Provence entre zones industrielles et champs de vigne, une enquête qui
finit par nous mener sur les traces des alternatives avec ceux qui se battent pour ne pas perdre un m2 de
terres fertiles de plus!
Pétition en ligne : Sauvons l'intendance du jardin des Plantes de Montpellier
Véronique Ferhmin from the Association Parcs et Jardins du Languedoc Roussillon has drawn
our attention to this petition:
“Créé par Richer de Belleval en 1593 sous Henri IV, le jardin des
plantes de Montpellier est le plus ancien jardin botanique de France. Ce
lieu très prisé des Montpelliérains et des visiteurs de notre ville, est en
passe d’être démantelé. L’Etat a décidé de mettre en vente le bâtiment de
l’Intendance, cœur patrimonial de ce jardin en le présentant comme un
immeuble de “bureaux”. Nous souhaitons au contraire que ce bâtiment,
inscrit au titre des Monuments Historiques, soit aménagé pour l’accueil
des visiteurs, afin de les sensibiliser sur l’histoire botanique de notre ville
et sur la biodiversité. Et ainsi rendre à l’ensemble du jardin des Plantes,
l’attrait qu’il mérite.”
To sign the petition:émantèlement-du-plus-ancien-jardin-botanique-de-france?just_created=true
Best wishes