The 10th annual autumn Mediterranean Garden Fair took place on Saturday, October 27 in São Brás and celebrated the start of the gardening year. We were fortunate to have a dry sunny day following the first few rainy days of the autumn, encouraging everyone to get busy in the garden again.
This special anniversary garden fair was organised as usual by the Mediterranean Gardening Association for Portugal. The organisers had been working hard to find a diverse range of nurseries, so the event was well supported by a record 22 plant sales stands ready to receive the 1,400 eager plant buyers who attended on the day – impressive numbers indeed!
There were colourful container plants, fruit and ornamental trees and a wonderful range of succulents as well as other drought tolerant plants. We are very grateful indeed to all the volunteers who came along to help and who made the event possible. Good support from São Brás town hall and the Amigos do Museu also contributed to success on the day.
There was a great response to the appeal for cash donations to buy fruit trees for those affected by the Monchique fires and €252 bought nine sets of five trees for distribution by Ajuda Monchique.
As well as plant sales, there were good quality craft stands relating to the garden and, for the first time, a traditional tin worker. The “Latoeiro” had many handmade items for sale as well as a live demonstration showing the techniques used to produce them. The zinc metal watering cans were very popular as they avoid the problems associated with plastic disintegrating in the sun.
Other popular “firsts” were a stand showing recycled wood used for garden furniture and the opportunity to buy gardening books in English, Portuguese and French.
The free talks were very popular once again and are now a regular part of the day. Both Fernanda Botelho and João Gomes shared their knowledge and experience, so that everyone who attended went away with new ideas and inspiration. The day is planned so that there is an opportunity to share experiences of gardening in the mediterranean Algarve and learn more about the possibilities of making a garden here avoiding harmful chemicals and without wasting water.
There were many requests for information about the next spring garden fair, which is planned for March 2019 in Silves and all details will go onto the MGAP website.