There has already been huge interest in our first event since 2019. It is obvious that many are planning their visit and checking their ‘plant wants’ lists.
All the plant nurseries have been asked to bring appropriate plants and products for a sustainable garden. We are particularly pleased to welcome four new growers and new craft exhibitors. A welcome new plant nursery is a specialist in water plants and water lilies.
The selection available includes trees, shrubs and ornamental plants for containers as well as native plants and seeds. Organic products including vegetables and herbs, plus a great range of succulents from enthusiasts who grow their own range of plants.
The stands will be organised on the roadway around the central area (picadeiro) and there will be some horse event activities during the weekend. We are sure this will provide a great atmosphere for the event. Members of MGAP will be on hand to provide garden advice and run the popular bookshop and members’ plants sales table.
We have some new crafts exhibitors for this event. All are inspired in some way by gardens and the natural world. New this year will be stained glass, painted metal ware and metal plant supports.
We encourage visitors to bring their own bags and cardboard boxes for their plant shopping. There will be the usual plant crèche run by our hard-working volunteers immediately next to the visitor entrance. Once again, it will be possible to leave your plants and other shopping safely in the crèche while you take in more of the event or have some refreshments. We will reserve space so that you can bring your car to collect your shopping directly from the crèche.
Do you have a pile of old plant pots? Would you like to recycle them? Bring them along to the garden fair so that anyone looking for pots can give them a new home! There will be a drop-off point in the car park.
Our partners CONFEST (a not-for-profit group who have formed an Equestrian Brotherhood in Estoi) will be providing a full bar service and hot meals from a traditional Portuguese BBQ menu. We also will have vegetarian meal options available, and ice creams!
Once again, we are preparing a free leaflet for visitors with information and contact details for all exhibitors. This will be available on our website and will allow you to arrange to visit plant nurseries after the event and see the full range of plants available.
COVID regulations: We welcome anyone wishing to wear a mask. Please also come prepared to wear a mask inside the marquee. The outside stands will be organised to have spaces between them and there should be plenty of room for people to circulate around the site.
The plant nurseries will be restocking for bright displays for our Sunday visitors. We hope that the longer opening hours will allow everyone to enjoy a safe and comfortable visit with time to talk with the stallholders. The monthly market site in Estoi has a large car park immediately adjacent and the event site has level and easy access. Please note that dogs will only be admitted strictly under control and must be always on leads.
Many thanks to our sponsors for their support – The Resident will kindly provide some freebies for you to collect on the day and others such as Sementes de Portugal have been a major help with publicity and advertising.
The opening time for visitors is 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, and the entry cost is €1 per person with children under 16 having free entry. This charge allows us to better understand our visitor numbers over the weekend and is a big help for our fundraising. In common with many other not-for-profit associations, our activities have been restricted over the last months.
We are looking forward to a successful and enjoyable weekend working with CONFEST. They are very experienced at organising large events and have been of enormous help with this event.
And, finally, if you plan to come along and can spare an hour or so to help out, please let me know. The event will go ahead whatever the weather, so see you there! And thank you for joining us to celebrate the start of the gardening year in the marvellous Mediterranean climate of the Algarve.