Memories of past AGMs

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John J

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Memories of past AGMs
« on: August 12, 2020, 09:47:27 AM »
Taking inspiration from Hilary's postings of places she has visited in the past I looked back at the MGS AGMs that I have attended over the years.
I joined the MGS on 1 Jan 1998 but it was not until 2003 that I attended my first AGM. Prior to this I believe they had been held in the following locations:-
1995/96/97  at the MGS HQ garden, Sparoza
1998  Palma, Mallorca
1999  La Mortola, Italy
2000  Palermo, Sicily
2001  Athens
2002  California
The venue for 2003 was Tuscany and this was too tempting to ignore.
We stayed in the Hotel Due Mari, Rapolano Terme, near Siena. (1st photo).
The programme included visits to the Castello di Celsa, Villa Cetinale, the Bosco della Ragnaia. (2nd photo). The Villa di Geggiano (3rd photo), Siena (4th & 5th photos). The monastery of Certosa di Pontignano, Pienza (6th photo), La Foce, Villa Capponi, the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The last photo is of the view along the river from the Ponte Vecchio.
I apologise for the quality of the photos but they had to be scanned as they were taken before I acquired a digital camera.
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)

Hilary

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 10:26:50 AM »
What a good idea . I am looking forward to seeing your photos

Meanwhile I found the article about this particular AGM in the index to the journal under A

THE AGM 2003 IN TUSCANY (1)  by Joanna Millar
and
AGM 2003 IN TUSCANY (2) by Allan Lover
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2020, 01:53:53 PM »
Hilary, thanks for the encouragement. I got out my Journal, reread that article and was disappointed to realise that Joanna had listed the countries members had attended from, but no mention of Cyprus, although there were 4 of us from here. If she was lumping Cyprus in with Greece that would be even more disappointing.
Anyway, I came across a few more photos from Tuscany in my archives.
Castello di Celsa, the 200 steps in the garden of the Villa Cetinale and statues outside the Uffizi Palace in Florence.
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)

Hilary

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2020, 07:26:46 PM »
I read the articles this evening and decided to scan one of the drawings in the journal
Castello di Celsa with lemon trees
Drawing by Jacques Thompson

MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2020, 05:39:18 PM »
The 2004 AGM was held on the island of Corfu. For reasons that I cannot now recall I was unable to attend.
However, at the previous year's AGM the then President, Katherine Greenberg, had broached the subject of the low membership numbers in Cyprus. I agreed that on my return I would do my best to investigate the matter. This I did and during the year we recruited enough new members to make the creation of a Cyprus Branch a viable proposition. It came into being on 1st Jan 2005 with myself as Branch Head, a position I have held ever since.
Carmona, Spain was the venue for the 2005 AGM and was my debut attendance as a Branch Head, marking the beginning of my 'political' involvement within the Society.
Our hotel in Carmona was the Hostal Comercio, a friendly, family-run establishment that was attached to the old city wall. (First 2 photos, the 3rd being a view of the town from atop the wall).
 Day 1 we spent in and around Cordoba, visiting a number of gardens. (My wife can be seen on the far right of photo no. 5).
Day 2 saw more gardens in the area of Moratalla.
The General Assembly was held in an enormous marquee in the grounds of the Cortijo de Arenales, the estate of the Conde de la Maza. A tour of the estate followed after lunch, including seeing the fighting bulls that they bred.
To be continued.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 05:46:19 PM by John J »
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)

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2020, 07:18:12 PM »
My apologies, the last 2 photos in the above post seem to have got transposed somehow.
Anyway, after the General Assembly we had 2 extra days of visits. Day 1 took in Seville, the photo shows the Bullring. Day 2 was to Granada and the Alhambra and Generalife, obviously.
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)

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 08:47:27 AM »
Uzes, France was the venue for AGM 2006. The dates clashed with a planned Charity Trek in Peru that my wife was taking part in so I went alone. I flew into Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, caught a coach across the city to Orly, and from there took a small commuter plane down to Avignon. On arrival I, and the other non-commuters on the plane, discovered that our luggage was still in Orly. Having been assured that my errant suitcase would be arriving on the next aircraft, and would be delivered to my hotel, I took a taxi to Uzes  and booked into the Hotel Mercure. When I explained my lack of luggage to the young lady receptionist she was very understanding, guessing that I had flown Air France, and saying that it was not unusual, often being referred to as Air Chance. By know it was quite late but they rustled up a snack for me and at 2am I was awoken by a phone call informing me that my suitcase had arrived.
Day 1 - Fontchateau. The only photos I seem to have taken here are of restored 19th C enamel tiled roofs. (first 2 photos)
Later we visited the gardens of a house owned by Pierre Berge, close friend of Yves Saint Laurent. This was only possible because we were in the company of Louisa Jones it seems. (Photo 3)
Saturday morning we were free to explore Uzes town with its extensive street markets held on that day. I took the opportunity to acquire a variety of the local cheeses.
The afternoon saw us in the gardens of La Bambouseraie. An exotic garden that is not devoted solely to bamboos. (Photos 4,5 & 6)
The General Assembly was held on the Site of the Pont du Gard, an amazing example of Roman engineering. The last photo being taken from the Pont, the river was low due to a long, hot summer apparently. (Photos 7,8 ^ 9)
To be continued below.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 08:53:04 AM by John J »
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)

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 09:04:17 AM »
Optional Day 1 was spent in Nimes with a visit to the Jardins de la Fontaine. (First 2 photos)
After lunch we were free to explore the city with its Roman heritage. (Photo 3)
Optional Day 2 was Montpellier, the Jardins de Plantes and Herbarium.
The tour ended with a visit to the Chateau de Flaugergues. The owner, Count Henri de Colbert was thought by some members to be a little eccentric. He made use of a megaphone while giving us a tour of the grounds. (Last 3 photos)
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)

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2020, 07:05:31 AM »
For the 2007 AGM, held in Athens, the organisers employed a different approach to that of previous meetings. In her Welcome letter the then President described it as an experiment, with an educational structure and purpose.
The first 2 days, instead of the usual garden visits, were devoted to Workshops, Lectures and Panel Discussions. These were conducted by experts in their fields too numerous to mention, but a few spring readily to mind due to their current involvement with this Forum; Oron Peri, Alisdair Aird and the lady who posts under the name of 'Umbrian'.
The General Assembly was held in the Gaia Centre of the Koulandris Museum in Kifissia.
The Optional Days offered either a one-day trip to the island of Euboea, with visits to the ecological museum, the archaeological museum of Karystos, and a tour of the Montofoli Estate.
Alternatively there was a 4 day excursion to the Peloponnese guided by George Sfikas.
We chose the first option.
I'm sure that I took some photos during this AGM but I have been unable to locate them. No doubt they are lurking somewhere on a photo card from an old, no-longer used camera.
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)

Hilary

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2020, 09:36:46 AM »
John I thought to look up the 2007 AGM but no one wrote an article for the journal

However, I did find a link to some notes by Jennifer Gay and Piers Goldson about PROPAGATING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org/cuttings.html#1
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

Hilary

  • Hero Member
Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2020, 09:48:52 AM »
I don't know if this will work
A short piece about the 2007 AGM
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2020, 12:18:11 PM »
Thanks for those, Hilary. I can only assume that no-one wrote about this particular AGM as it was not to everyone's taste. I understood the organisers thinking at the time as some members had complained of the lack of educational content at the meetings. However, it probably proved to be a bit too far the other way with virtually no garden visits. As the saying goes 'You can't please all of the people all of the time'.
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)

Umbrian

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2020, 06:06:42 AM »
Shame, shame, shame!!!
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.

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2020, 08:07:26 AM »
Monterey, California was the chosen venue for 2008. Unfortunately a little out of my range at the time so I had to give it a miss.
In 2009 I did not need to go to the AGM, it came to me. The Cyprus Branch were the hosts with the base being in Limassol (Lemesos).
Day 1 started with a visit to a private garden designed by MGS member, Yiannos Orphanos. This was an enormous undertaking with even a small lake fed by a spring and by the process of attempting to ensure that all rainwater that fell on the property stayed on the property and did not run off into the surrounding countryside.
From there we moved on to another of Yiannos' projects, the gardens surrounding Olympic House, Nicosia (Lefkosia), the building that houses the majority of Cyprus' Olympic sports associations. These had been divided into 5 separate areas, one for each of the rings on the Olympic flag. The plantings, and even the gravel used, represented the colours of the rings.
We stayed in Nicosia for lunch, taken in Akropolis Park, after which we descended into the caves below that had been converted for use as conference rooms. There we were entertained to 2 presentations, one by Oron Peri and the other by Mary Michaelides, President of the Cyprus Cactus & Succulent Society.
On Day 2 we took the members to school, literally. Agii Anargyri Primary School in Larnaka has created a small Botanical Garden in its grounds, the brainchild of a young, female teacher along with the Leader of the Parent's Association. This is used as a hands-on teaching facility for the pupils.
Lunch and a period of free time was taken in the village of Lefkara, famous for a style of drawn thread-work embroidery, using beige 'Irish' linen and white or dark brown cotton thread, and known as Lefkaritika. Legend has it that Leonardo de Vinci visited Cyprus and took some back for the High Altar of Milan Cathedral.
The day ended with a visit to the garden of an internationally known Cypriot artist (one of his works had been accepted for use at the Beijing Olympics) Philippos Yiapanis, in the village of Fasoula.
The General Assembly was held in a restored Carob Mill in Limassol, opposite the medieval castle. Carobs had once been the mainstay of the Cyprus economy, being known as the 'black gold of Cyprus'.
The Optional Days were designed around 2 distinct themes.
Day 1 concentrated on the historical products of the island. It began in Kolossi with the medieval castle and adjacent sugar mill/factory. Sugar cane was grown extensively in and around the region, and the resulting produce was exported to northern European countries where it was unknown. At that time the main method used for sweetening was to use honey. The castle was the HQ (Commanderie) of the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers) thus giving its name to the sweet dessert wine produced in the area, Commanderia.
The subject of wine was explored in more detail at the Wine Museum in Erimi.
Lunch was taken in Anogyra at the Oleastro Olive Mill and Museum, the buffet featuring many olive dishes.
In the same village we ended the day at a small carob factory to see some of the products made from the aforementioned 'black gold'.
Day 2 highlighted the work carried out by the Cyprus Forestry Department.
We began at the Forest Station, Platania where we collected our Forester guide and saw the nursery that is responsible for producing the plants used in the various Department projects, including their reforestation efforts. From there we moved on to see the area of their major reforestation work, the now defunct asbestos mines at Amiandos. The Cyprus Government had inherited the task of repairing the devastation caused by 80 years of mining activity. Work is being carried out to reforest the area and to create a Botanical Garden centred around a restored mine building that will serve as a Visitor Centre.
Moving higher up the mountain we visited the Environmental Centre, Troodos to learn something about the National Park and its proposed Natura 2000 sites.
Lunch was taken at the highest village on the island, Prodhromos, before rounding off the day at the Forestry Department College in the same village, to see the methods used to train future Foresters, both local and foreign.
I don't recall taking any photos during this programme, being too occupied with trying to ensure its smooth running. In fact I don't think I even took my camera with me!

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)

Hilary

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2020, 09:48:58 AM »
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care