Plans for new tours

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Alisdair

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Plans for new tours
« on: April 19, 2014, 07:43:40 AM »
Up to now the Mediterranean Garden Society has normally run one tour a year, in addition to its autumn AGM. We now plan to increase this to three or four. Any suggestions very welcome!
The present plan is to focus mainly on the Mediterranean area itself, but to include some trips elsewhere, either to mediterranean-climate regions elsewhere (California, South Australia, Chile, South Africa) or to other countries with rich plant life, likely to interest our members. Both gardens and wild plants will be covered.
We also hope that perhaps one "tour" a year will be more of a "course" - botanical painting, garden design, photography, even cooking.
So do give us suggestions!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Sandra

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2014, 06:22:52 PM »
This all sounds very exciting but can I ask you when making your plans to make the sure the MGS does not become an exclusive club with it's activities accessible only to the rich? Many gardeners have modest incomes but still have much to offer and would like to participate in as many activities as possible. The cost of last year's AGM and additional days in the Peloponnese were prohibitively expensive.
Sandra Panting
I garden in the Southern Peloponnese, Greece and will soon be creating a small garden in Northampton, England.  I'm co-head of the MGS Peloponnese group and a member of the RHS.

Umbrian

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 06:27:52 AM »
Whilst also appreciating the desires of our new committee to expand the activities of the MGS I have to agree with Sandra that many members are probably not in a position to be able to participate as often as they would like. The AGM's are a good example since the costs soon add up, participation in the general programme, accommodation and travel plus the temptation of extra days to visit nearby places of interest. With couples, when one partner is a keen member but the other not, there can be a conflict of interests since the costs of any such activity is equivalent to a holiday spent somewhere that appeals to both........
In Italy, a large country with just one branch, attending meetings often means an overnight stay making even that activity quite an expensive event.Yes, I think we must guard against the MGS becoming a society in which only the well heeled are able to participate in many of the activities that will need a lot of time and effort to organise.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Sandra

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 08:17:58 AM »
I don't want to be a party pooper as I'm sure the proposed tours would be wonderful for those with the time and money to spare. However, they are unlikely to meet the needs of many in the organisation. I do feel the committee's resources would be better spent attracting newer, younger members to the society and perhaps also looking at enhancing the educational role of the organisation.
Sandra Panting
I garden in the Southern Peloponnese, Greece and will soon be creating a small garden in Northampton, England.  I'm co-head of the MGS Peloponnese group and a member of the RHS.

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Alisdair

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 08:39:38 AM »
Sandra, Thanks for those helpful thoughts. We hope that expanding the tours programme will give opportunities for expanding the price range too, and agree on the value of that.
(Tours are by no means the only thing the new MGS committee wants to beef up. Education in its broadest sense is a central preoccupation for it, and the vice president John Joynes is taking charge of several potential developments. And anyone who can produce a magic wand, in the shape of ways of attracting newer younger members, will be praised to the skies not just in the MGS but in gardening societies throughout the world - so far this seems an unattainable ideal, but of course that won't stop us trying!)
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 01:15:45 PM »
Further to Alisdair's posting above, if anyone (MGS member or not) has any ideas with regard to the subject of education and/or ways to attract younger members (with or without a magic wand) please get in touch. Not via this forum but drop me a personal e-mail.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Trevor Australis

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Re: Plans for new tours
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 08:48:23 AM »
As a member from far away from the centre of operations, and relatively remote from other branches I believe there are at least 3 things members can do to increase interaction and contact between members: (1) we can all organise AT HOMES and invite other local members to - share images from recent relevant travels/ swap plants/ enjoy a conversazzione/ go for a walk/ learn simple propagation techniques/conduct a working bee for a local garden/ pot up spares for a charity group etc.,  (2) organize a one day local regional event/ visit a nursery/ specialist collection/ hear a local speaker or panel/ make an expedition to a series of interesting gardens/ visit several members gardens. , or (3) work together for representation at a gardeners market/ regional fair or exhibition, conduct a teaching/learning programme at a local school/ botanic garden/ garden centre or heritage site. There are plenty of low cost local options for getting together and engaging in some useful and meaningful activity that will promote our aims - and maybe direct membership in our branches and the MGS.

No-one should ever be put off from doing their own thing by the larger scale, more impressive activities organised internationally or nationally. We can all do something and that should be our first goal: to do what we can do as individuals. Let the rest take care of itself.









M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.