With reference to the piece in the March 9 edition of the Portugal Resident “Algarve’s first Mediterranean Botanical Garden inaugurates in Querença”:
I have received messages asking about the Querença project and sending me the link to your post on Facebook – mostly asking if it was anything to do with MGAP and also commenting on the poor quality of the garden, despite being in existence for at least two years, the very obvious and intensive irrigation systems and lack of plants in the photos.
I was able to reassure everyone that it was not an MGAP project and would like to take this opportunity to confirm that we were not involved. Sadly, the approach seems to be totally against current thinking on the Algarve with reference to climate appropriate planting and minimising water use in gardens and landscapes.
We would also welcome the opportunity to state that this garden in Querença is not the first Botanical Garden for mediterranean flora on the Algarve, and it is not registered with the international registration body based at Royal Botanic Kew Gardens in London – Botanic Garden Conservation International.
Whilst we welcome any initiative which highlights the special and rich diversity of the flora of the Algarve, the approach is not compliant with current global environmental concerns.
‘The launch of the Barrocal Botanic Garden’, dated June 2017, is an article covering the first internationally registered botanic garden on the Algarve. This was an MGAP educational project with a scientific basis created by our Association.
In fairness to the long hours of hard work of our members and volunteers and the large financial investment from fundraising by MGAP, I thought it only right to let you and your readers know about the mistakes in the article.
The landowner for our Botanic Garden site did not comply with the legal agreement in place with MGAP. For this reason alone, we no longer have our MGAP garden, but we are seeking a new site for our project and were able to fully recover all of our investment.
We hope to be able to highlight our new, educational and scientifically based, project in a future article. This new project will be built on our experience of guiding many groups of visitors, undertaking training sessions and welcoming individuals seeking help and advice on making sustainable gardens in the Algarve.
we are grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight. We welcome any comments and feedback from your readers to me at the email address below.
Rosie Peddle – Secretary Mediterranean Gardening Association – Portugal