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Plant notes - Authors

CD - Caroline Davies gardens in Melbourne, Australia in two small courtyards overflowing with pots. Plants range from Mediterranean to tropical within this microclimate. Her particular interest is in cyclamen species, shrubby begonias, hellebores and Vireya rhododendrons, indicating the eclectic nature of her plantings. Until recently, with her late husband David Martin, she organised garden, wild flower and special interest tours to various countries in Europe, as well as around Australia and New Zealand, but her special love will continue to be the Greek flora. 

CE - Cindy Evans gardens on a south facing hillside high up in the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca. The garden is six years old on what was an abandoned farm. Included in the garden is a collection of around 100 salvias.

CG - Chantal Guiraud's garden is in Montpellier, France; she is the person in charge of the seed exchange between MGS members.

FJP - Fleur Pavlidis gardens in an almond grove near the Athens airport. Half of the garden is limestone subsoil top-dressed with red soil and rotted cotton waste, the rest is the natural shallow rocky red soil. Summer temperatures are above 35 degrees C and weekly irrigation using well water is applied from May to September. Winter rains are poor and the prevailing northeast wind blows the year round. She also gardens in a mountain village on sandy soil enriched by sheep manure and compost where the summer is slightly less hot than in Attica and the winter has snowfalls and frost and a good rainfall. The garden is irrigated weekly in summer. Both gardens were started from scratch in 2001 and 2002 respectively and planting is nowhere near finished.

JJ - John Joynes came late to horticulture and is still trying to catch up. He has chosen Cyprus to do this with the help of his wife and an assortment of cats.

JT - The only things that grew in Jacques Thompson's garden were pussy cats, for very few plants grew on the clayey, non-draining soils. When they arrived in the Languedoc they knew nothing about gardening in a mediterranean climate. No one had told them to dig in plentiful compost, or that in order to have a thriving garden you really need to install a watering system. This may all sound a little disheartening. However, guided by the knowledge of MGS members, they have developed their garden without a lot of compost and without too much water, using drought-resistant plants such as irises, rosemary, Teucrium fruticans, Agapanthus, Viburnum, Hedera, Santolina, Helichrysum, figs, olives, pomegranates and of course Capparis spinosa.

LB - Lindsay Blyth has gardened ever since childhood. After two years at Waterperry Horticultural School she lived and gardened in Calcutta, West Sussex, London, Oxfordshire and Guyana in South America. She now lives in Andalucia where she has made a garden on a north-facing mountainside. She started the Andalucian Garden Group which is in association with the MGS.

KM-R - Kate Marcelin-Rice gardens in the South of France, near Le Castellet in the Var, on a dry west-facing hillside with poor stony soil.  Summers are hot and the area is liable to be swept by the Mistral.

MM - Meie Mayer writes: "For 20 years I gardened in the patios of a house in Carmona, but now I care for a sunny terrace in Madrid where I grow the lovely Jasminum sambac ‘Granducca di Toscana’, Arbutus unedo, bergamot, Clematis cirrhosa var balearica and many bulbs as well as some roses like ‘Coquelicot’ and ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’ - all in pots. Also I cultivate my love of historical gardens, like ancient Roman gardens and mudejar gardens. I try to visit gardens and my gardening-friends as much as I can - I take photographs of the gardens and enjoy publishing little books and writing articles.

PCH - Caroline Harbouri grows all her plants in pots in central Athens. In summer her tiny courtyard has some shade from mid-afternoon onwards but her larger roof terrace is in full sun from early morning until sunset. All the plants are watered daily throughout the summer by drip irrigation and are mulched with cocoa bean shells and/or pebbles. Her area is generally frost-free in winter while in summer temperatures may rise to well over 40 degrees C. The plants also have to contend with strong winds.

RSL - When Renate Schaeffer-Low bought her property 18 years ago it had a small house and 9 mature carob trees.  The land is on a slope and consists of very poor, very thin 'soil' over rock. Over the intervening years she has extended the house and worked hard to create a garden under extremely difficult conditions. Planting holes had to be hacked out of the rock, even resorting to a pneumatic drill on occasions. All this against a background of little or no experience or advice, a problem encountered by many gardeners before the advent of the MGS. Despite the inevitable setbacks and failures she has succeeded in creating her own 'Garden on a Cyprus Hillside'.


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