Memories of past AGMs

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John J

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Re: Memories of past AGMs
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2020, 11:23:08 AM »
Tuesday saw yet another of the aspects of this trip that I had been eagerly awaiting, my return visit to Finca d'Ariant, the hidden valley in which Heidi Gildemeister had created her iconic garden. Since my previous visit in 2011 guardianship of the property had passed to the Fundacio Vida Silvestre Mallorqui (Black Vulture Foundation). I was anxious to see what changes, if any, had taken place. Happily I found that the main ethos of the garden had been preserved and it was being admirably maintained by the FVSM gardening team under the overall leadership of Director Dr Evelyn Tewes. Hopefully this will continue and the future be secured not only of the vultures but also of this special garden.
This is not a garden of brightly-coloured flowers, but one that has been created in large part by a subtle, discreet tweaking of nature.
Lunch was taken in the grounds with the crags of the Tramuntana mountains as a backdrop. We were even lucky enough to spot a couple of black vultures soaring above them.
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 #46 on: August 31, 2020, 03:28:57 PM »
After lunch we were scheduled to visit the garden of Giovanni Torielli in Ca'n Rino, but it seems that the storms that had hit Mallorca just prior to our arrival had inflicted so much damage to the property that it was no longer a viable option.
As an alternative we took a detour, a 'scenic route', back to the hotels. On the way we stopped off for a comfort/coffee break at the Santuari de Lluc.
The following day we took the short, although delayed take-off, flight to Alicante on the mainland. The main hotel was the Melia on the seafront, but we had opted for a more modest establishment situated a short walk away inland. I cannot now recall its name but it was below the Castillo Santa Barbara. (Photos 1-3)
The next day my wife decided that attaining the summit of this hill was to be her challenge for the morning while mine was attending the AC/BH meeting. Later we had a wander around the town. (The last 4 photos. No prizes for guessing the merchandise sold in the shop shown on the last 2)
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 #47 on: September 01, 2020, 04:51:14 PM »
The first day of the AGM proper, and we were on the way to Crevillente and the garden of Branch Heads, Carol and Alan Hawes. This is situated on a plot of land that is flat, relatively long and narrow. It has been thoughtfully planned and laid out as a series of rooms devoted to plants from the Americas, Australia and Africa. (Photo 1 & 2 show Eucalyptus torquata with its beautiful pink blooms, while photo 3 is of one of the dry areas)
From here we moved on to the village of Catral and the garden of La Carrasca. This is a difficult garden to describe, it is largely used as the venue for celebratory gatherings, weddings, christenings, etc. It offers a mix of ornamental and edible plants. (Photos 4-6)
After lunch, taken in this garden, we were off to the city of Elche. Our first stop was the Huerto del Cura garden. (Photos 7, 8 & 9, the last 2 being of an enormous plant that I believe is a Crinum amabile.
More of Elche to follow.
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 #48 on: September 02, 2020, 10:55:01 AM »
A visit to the Palmeral Museum was next, followed by a stroll around the city centre. (Photos 1 & 2)
Here we came across a 'living wall' and a floral depiction of the Lady of Elche. In 1897 a statue of a female head dating from the 4thC BC was discovered locally. Now the 'Lady' is everywhere you look in the city. (Photos 3 & 4)
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 #49 on: September 02, 2020, 11:07:19 AM »
We rounded off the day with a visit to Carmen del Campillo, a Moorish Tea Garden, that brought back memories of our trip to Morocco in 2014.
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 #50 on: September 03, 2020, 09:29:46 AM »
Next day we set off for the Brutinel Garden near Alcoy. This house and garden were built in the mid-1800s adjacent to the owner's paper factory. The paper business went into decline and in the early 20thC the whole property was sold to the family of the current owners. In 1919 two houses were built for the use of the family and they are still occupied today when they visit.
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 #51 on: September 03, 2020, 02:49:53 PM »
Part of one of the old buildings was given over to a large collection of orchids.
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 #52 on: September 04, 2020, 02:27:01 PM »
The rest of the morning was spent in the Jardin de Santos, Penaguila and the afternoon in the Casa Tapena Country Park, near Onil.
The following day, after the General Assembly, held at the Parador Hotel, Javea, the last garden of the trip was the Albarda Garden, Pedreguer.
The photos below and in the following post are all from these 3 gardens.
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 #53 on: September 04, 2020, 02:30:56 PM »
The second batch.
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 #54 on: September 04, 2020, 02:36:05 PM »
The Albarda Gardens had this amazing wall of mosaics.
As I said this was the last day of the main portion of the AGM. The post-tour was held in Valencia but we did not go on that.
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 #55 on: September 06, 2020, 04:53:48 AM »
So we come to the latest AGM, 2019, and as it was an election year it had to be held in Greece. The main programme in Athens with a pre-tour to Corfu and a post-tour to the Pelion area.
I feel that this might be cheating slightly as we did not attend the Corfu trip, or the majority of the main programme, just the AC/BH meeting, Welcome Reception, General Assembly and Farewell Dinner. We did go on the post-tour as this was an area of Greece we had not visited before.
We spent the days of the Athens programme with friends and/or visiting new places. Places such as the Diomedes Botanical Garden on the outskirts of Athens.
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 #56 on: September 06, 2020, 07:29:25 AM »
A short walk from the Botanical Garden is Dafni Monastery with its Byzantine gold-leaf mosaics.
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 #57 on: September 06, 2020, 09:22:00 AM »
As I said earlier, following the main programme in Athens we headed for the Pelion area. On the way we stopped off at the memorial to Leonidas that commemorates the Battle of Thermopylae. (Photos 1 - 5)
Our ultimate destination was the village of Lafkos and the Lagou Raxi Country Hotel, owned by MGS member Sue Wake, where we were to stay. (Last 3 photos)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 09:25:13 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 #58 on: September 06, 2020, 09:43:15 AM »
From the locations that we visited and/or explored over the next 2 days I have chosen the garden of Vida Chung and her husband Vito. This property is situated on an extremely steep slope overlooking the waters of a narrow inlet. The last photo is of what I can only describe as a summer bedroom perched in the branches of a tree.
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 #59 on: September 06, 2020, 09:53:29 AM »
The AGM this year (2020) was due to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, but sadly the current pandemic has caused it to be postponed until next year. The General Assembly has to take place and will be held at Sparoza.
Hopefully, things will soon return to some semblance of normal allowing members to meet up once more somewhere in the mediterranean world.
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)