Mediterranean Garden Society
The Cyprus Branch of the MGS
The island of Cyprus is situated in the far east of the Mediterranean Sea. It has no deep-rooted tradition of gardening for pleasure and consequently possesses no major gardens. The culture of subsistence growing that has prevailed for centuries is gradually being eroded and replaced as ‘garden centres’ and nurseries become more numerous and ambitious with regard to the selection of plants they offer. However, as a consequence of this the need for education and guidance, especially when it involves the question of water and its conservation, has become a major issue. This is an issue that the members of the Cyprus Branch are attempting to address, using a variety of means at their disposal.
The photo at the top of this page shows an area of the Troodos Botanical Garden ‘AG Leventis’ created by the Cyprus Forestry Department on the site of an abandoned asbestos mine. Asbestos was mined commercially in Cyprus from 1904 to 1988, by which time the growing realization of its dangers to human health rendered its production less and less financially viable. During those 80 years over 300 hectares of forest had been destroyed leaving a barren, sterile landscape. In 1995 the Forestry Department began a massive reforestation effort that is still ongoing. Part of the initial plan was to eventually incorporate a Botanical Garden into the project and enough funding was found for work on this to be started in 2005. The Cyprus Branch of the MGS has been involved with the project from the outset.
Branch Head John Joynes writes: "While I was born and grew up in Derbyshire, England, my working life took me to a variety of locations in the UK, along with periods spent in Singapore, West Berlin and Cyprus. In 1997 my wife and I returned to Cyprus to take up permanent residence in the house we had built in 1988 on land we had acquired in 1968. This was when we seriously began to make up for lost time, horticulturally speaking, and we have continued to learn on a daily basis ever since."
Please contact John to find out more.
For previous reports and articles please check out the archived (non-responsive) Cyprus Branch page.
THE MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN is the registered trademark of The Mediterranean Garden Society in the European Union, Australia, and the United States of America