John Fielding, MPG member and plant breeder, has introduced a very beautiful new variety of Ranunculus, Ranunculus 'Rococo’ - seen left in the trial field. A cross between the wild species and Rancunculus asiaticus, the new variety is hardy and have an appealing old-fashioned look.
John will be showing at the RHS Malvern Show 9 to 12 May (www.threecounties.co.uk).
'Well over 20 years ago I attempted some crosses with Ranunculus asiaticus and other species.
The resulting hybrids proved to be remarkably hardy winter growing perennials and have experienced -15ºC without harm in UK conditions." Read more about this beautiful new Ranunculus here
from isabel cayon-FERNANDEZ
Isabel Cayon-Fernandez, a graduate of horticulture from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is gaining a deeper knowledge of the flora of Macaronesia the scattered group of islands in the north Atlantic. This garden focuses on plant conservation of the region, which in reality are the 'ancestors' of the Mediterranean plants we know today. Our Bursary along with others, has helped her in her voluntary work placement at the Jardín Botánico Canario "Viera y Clavijo” (left).
An update on her progress is available on our here. It’s nice to see the bursary scheme being put to such good use and supporting plant research, science and plantmanship.
THE RED PALM WEEVIL
Many members will have seen the devastating effect of palm trees dying as a result of a palm beetle infestation. The beetle (actually a weevil), Rhincophorus ferruugineus, lays its eggs in the crown of the palm and the resultant grubs munch their way into the heart of the tree causing leaves to droop and die off one by one. Preventative measures are currently the best way to try to ensure that your palms, especially Phoenix canariensis , which are particularly susceptible, do not succumb to this dreaded insect. Click here for more information and advice.
a new ranunculus
portugal 'bringing the mediterranean landscape into your garden' 2-7 april 2019
Mediterranean Gardening Association Portugal is developing a programme of visits to private gardens, vineyards and historic gardens in the Algarve and the Alentejo. There will be a pre-conference tour in the Algarve, followed by the main event in Evora. Keynote speakers are Olivier Filippi and James Basson. Contact Rosie Peddle (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
BURSARIES AWARDED 2018
MPG awarded four bursaries to the following members during 2018
- Shelley O'Berg to attend the Beth Chatto symposium in August
- Isabel Cayon in September to support voluntary work in the Canaries Botanical Garden, Gran Canaria
- Becky Cross to attend MPG's Drakensberg and Cape Town tours in February
- Vida Svahnström to attend MPG's Peloponnese tour in March
TV Item on mediterranean gardening
Gardeners’ World on BBC2 on 10 August 2018 featured an item on Mediterranean gardening.
Garden designer Mark Lane visited Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight, which he described as Britain’s hottest garden and one of the best examples of a Mediterranean garden in the UK. MPG members who took part in the 2017 summer tour visited the garden and had a guided tour led by the curator Chris Kidd and the head of the volunteers Sally Peake.
new collection for eden
Plant Heritage has awarded The Eden Project National Plant Collection status for its 'Bright Sparks' display of 2,000 Kniphofia. Seventy-nine cultivars and twenty-one species plants have been collected from nurseries and botanic gardens around the UK. It is hoped that the collection will ultimately contribute to the conservation of threatened Kniphofia species in Africa. Eden is now the only UK garden outside the Isle of Wight to have National Collection status for Kniphofia. The display also features striking Trachycarpus fortunei amongst grasses and vibrant perennials, largely from South Africa.
Alstroemeria - a Chilean wonder
Those members who were at the Winter Meeting will remember Christine Daniels talking about the fascinating article, which appears on the Mediterranean Gardening France website, written by MPG member Dr Eduardo Olate focussing on Alstroemeria, a genus native to South America including Eduardo' s home country, Chile more here...
MEMBER'S TRIP TO ASCENSION ISLAND AND ST HELENA
Shelley O’Berg completed an RHS Diploma Level 4 in Horticultural Practice in summer 2017 and left Wisley bound for Ascension Island. There she studied the endemic flora and feels she’s really benefitted from seeing plants in their natural environment. You can read her report on the visit, on which she also stopped at St Helena, by clicking here. Shelley then worked at the Bonn University Botanic Garden from November until the end of January, and was recently awarded an MPG bursary to attend the Beth Chatto Symposium.
A bursary was awarded by MPG to Becky Cross to assist her in participating in the November 2017 trip to see autumn-flowering bulbs in the southern Peloponnese. Becky's report on the trip can be found here. Becky will also present details of the trip at the winter meeting in January 2019. If you would like to consider donating to the bursary fund please contact the Treasurer, David Mason, or speak to any member of the Management Committee. Thanks to Becky, Melvyn Jope and Jim Cable for these photos from the trip.
TENERIFE - a botanical hotspot
Members who went to Tenerife in February may like to remind themselves about Jenny Bovaird’s account of a lecture about plants of the island. Timothy Walker, who teaches at Oxford University, takes students to Tenerife on regular field trips. He gave a talk on why the plants of the island are special. Click here to follow the link to the brief report.
MEDITERRANEAN GARDENING CHILE
The management committee of MPG was delighted to welcome a new sister association, Mediterranean Gardening Chile (MGC) in August 2017. MGC is based in the Curacaví valley between Santiago and the coast and has a Mediterranean climate. One of its principal objectives is preservation of native plants in the wild. More information is on their website. If you click on “Nosotros” (“Us”) on the home page you’ll see a picture taken in May of the autumn walk for families and the subheadings under “Contenidos” (“Contents”) take you to a page with an English summary at the foot of each page. You can reach all our sister association websites from their logo links at the bottom of our Home page.
Wisley Plant Society Show 2017
MPG members created and manned a stand at the Wisley Plant Society Show on the hottest weekend of 2017. There was a photographic display representing MPG trips, container planting to show how easy it is to create a Mediterranean feel in the smallest of spaces, plus a new information leaflet to hand out to visitors. This was an opportunity to create awareness of MPG and to network with the other Plant Societies present. Visitors to the garden were up compared to the equivalent weekend in 2016 and there was a steady stream of people to talk to on both days. A couple of new members have signed up since the event and the leaflet will help promote MPG further afield. The picture shows Ellie Dunn (in red) and Jane Claridge looking after the stand which was created by Lesley Whayman.
The designer of the “Beneath a Mexican Sky” garden at Chelsea this year, Manoj Malde, who arranged for MPG members to be able to have entry to the show at 6.30am on the Tuesday, was delighted when his garden was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal. Manoj worked in the fashion industry for 18 years before moving to landscape design. He chose to use drought-tolerant plants that merge Mediterranean style with country cottage planting for his first Chelsea garden.
mediterranean wildlife gardening
Michèle Bailey and Ian Davis have put together a charming, wonderfully informative series of articles on gardening for wildlife. These are lightly humorous, beautifully illustrated with photos of birds, insects, bees and spiders and with tips on composting, birdboxes, plants and tricks to encourage wildlife. You can find the relevant section of the MGF website here.
endemic newly identified in crete
A rare and vulnerable Cretan endemic has been named Bellevalia juliana for MPG member Julia Jones. She found it one wet, blustery March morning ten years ago when walking in the hills around her home in Pano Elounda, Crete. It has been researched by Pepi Bareka, Nick Turland and Georgia Kamari who published their findings in July 2015. It is in the family Asperagaceae and from DNA testing has been proved a new species for east Crete. Julia describes it as unassuming but beautiful and says she is so grateful to the botanists who worked to get this new endemic recognised and is still slightly overwhelmed that they named it for her. Bellevalia juliana image courtesy of Steve Lenton.