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Associação de Plantas e Jardins     em Climas Mediterrânico

Mediterranean Gardening    Association Portugal

To promote Mediterranean plants and gardens, through education, cultivation, conservation and recognition of their communal, environmental and economic importance in our everyday lives.


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Useful Links to other websites

These links are grouped together under the headings below

Please Note: web sites are in English (or have this option) otherwise PT, ES, FR indicates other languages.

MGAP acknowledges that garden descriptions are mainly derived from the gardens own web site.


Mediterranean Garden Society

Lots of European groups with their news and events. Forum to ask Q's without being a member.

Royal Horticultural Society

Preeminent in their field and an in depth web site. Plant guide especially useful as it is regularly up dated.

The Linnean Society of London

A science based forum for natural history since 1788. The Society aims to inspire and inform the public in all areas of natural history.

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

Loads of information. Native plant guides and gallery are very useful. Just remember the seasons are a different calendar!

Botanical Society of South Africa

Preeminent for SA flora and fauna.

Pacific Bulb Society.

Extensive and easy to use. And it's not just bulbs.

Mediterranean Associations

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Mediterranean Gardening France

Lots to explore about what's happening across France and beyond.

Mediterranean Plants and gardens

Informative especially about tours and events.

Portugal Public Gardens of note

Portugal (Mainland) - North

The gardens of the northern climate means they won't represent the Mediterranean flora, but are worthwhile visits due to their abundance of flora and garden aesthetics. This selection is not exhaustive but are noteworthy.

If you are planning a tour then the following web sites give information for gardeners.

Historical Gardens (PT)

Portugal tours - Portuguese gardens

Garden of Quinta de Santo Inácio, 4430-809 Avintes, V. N. de Gaia, Porto

The house and gardens of this estate, Quinta de S. Inácio, are dated from the XVIII century. Today, the garden and surrounding woods are classified as being of public interest: a centenary romantic garden, bordered by shrubs, with azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and other flowers, topped by a canopy of various species of eucalyptus, oaks, pines and many other trees.

The family have opened a zoo in the grounds ???????

Villa d'Allen, Porto

Today's garden results from the addition of some old farms purchased in 1839 by John Allen, English businessman, great great grandfather of the current owners. In addition to a large collection of camellias, the garden also has a great variety of exotic plants from North and South America, Australia and Asia and a nursery for ornamental outdoor plants.

Quinta Vilar de Matos Farm, Rua Paulino Costa Curval, Junqueira, Vila do Conde, Porto

This farm is considered by the International Confederation of the Camellias, as one of the best in the world. Approximately 30,000 camellia trees of many different colours, sizes with about 1069 varieties. Paulino Costa Curval exports to Japanese collectors, because they have species that are no longer in its originating country, where this flower symbolizes fortune, friendship and harmony.

Serralves Park, Porto

Serralves Park spans 18 hectares and has a variety of magnificent, harmoniously interconnected spaces: formal gardens, woodlands, and a traditional farm. The current garden designs date from 1932 are characterised by a mildly Art Deco, modernised classicism, influenced by French gardens of the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the qualities of Serralves park is the diversity of its set of trees and shrubs, constituted by indigenous and exotic vegetation and including around 4,000 examples of ligneous plants, representing around 200 species and varieties.

Quinta de Mouraes, 4415-660 Lever, Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto

The Quinta de Mourães gardens cover an area of 2.5 hectares. The small lake is home to some swans. Rhododendrons, azaleas as well as camellias do well in the acid soil.

Fundação de Serralves, Porto

Jacques Gréber’s modernist garden at the Fundação de Serralves compliments the clean lines of the pink Art Deco house, built in 1935, and features a water staircase. Elsewhere are an iris garden, a wisteria pergola and remains of the pre-existing 19th-century garden

Parque Biológico de Gaia, EEM, 4430-681 Avintes

Fundação da Casa de Mateus - 5000 VILA REAL

Quinta das Lagrimas, Coimbra

The Quintas 12 Ha of gardens contain many specimen trees from the globe. Camphor, Palm, Maples and Sequoias reputedly planted by the Duke of Wellington.

Fundação Mata do Buçaco, Mata Nacional do Buçaco, 3050-261 Luso - Buçaco National Forest

Currently it lodges 105 hectares and has one of the best dendrological collections of the Europe, with about 250 species of trees and shrubs with notable examples. It is one of the richest forests in natural, architectural and cultural heritage; it can be divided into three landscape units: Arboretum, Gardens and Valley of Ferns, and Relic Forest.

Jardim do Paco, Castelo Branco

The Garden of the Episcopal Palace is one of the most original examples of the baroque in Portugal. Laid out in the Italian style, the garden has various levels connected by steps, with avenues and thematic walks, marked out by flower beds ringed with ornamental box hedging. One of its most striking features is undoubtedly the large number of granite statues, especially those that line the staircases and represent the kings of Portugal. Along the avenues, there is no shortage of lakes with water features and fountains, interspersed with many other statues alluding to such diverse themes as the signs of the Zodiac, the seasons of the year, the four continents, the four moral virtues or the three theological virtues.

Portugal (Central) - Lisboa

Quinta dos Azulejos, (Colegio Manuel Bernardes), Paço do Lumiar, 1600-549 Lisbon

Now a private school and so visits are by special appointment.

The garden is designed in the Mediterranean-Islamic tradition to be entirely inward-looking.

Built mid-18th century, when azulejaria (ceramic tiling) was at a wonderful high point with three-dimensional tiling, entirely clothing pillars, planting troughs, arches, benches and other sculptural and architectural surfaces, presenting an impressive variety of themes (from biblical scenes to classical mythology) in arches, octagonal columns and benches. These were placed in different phases, presenting the evolution of tile art in Lisbon from the Baroque to the Rococo periods.

Palace of the Marquis of Pombal, (Palace of the Count of Oeiras), Oeiras

Had the Baroque continued to evolve as a style of garden, Pombal Palace gardens show what might have happened elsewhere. The gardens are richly decorated with rustic columns and pebble paving and azure tiling. There is also a cascade, a grotto, a pillar, a waterfall with semi-circular basins.

Jardins da Quinta Real de Caxias, Belem, Lisbon

The gardens of the Caxias Royal Estate, built in the 19th century as a summer residence is made up of box hedging, but is known for a monumental baroque waterfall representing the mythical bath of Diana. The waterfall is in the middle of a salmon color line galleries with terraces and landscaped terraces.

The gardens have geometric lines and are decorated with sculptures.

Broad and rectilinear avenues, fountains and different elements of the surrounding countryside all contribute to the garden environment.

Quinta dos Loridos, Buddah Eden garden, Carvalhal, Obidos

A winery with the largest oriental garden in Europe focusing on statuery.

It’s 35 hectares was created as a reaction to the destruction of the Buddha's of Banyan, erasing masterpieces of late-period Gandhara art.

From Buddhas, pagodas, terra cotta statues and the various carefully-placed sculptures which can be found throughout the gardens, it is estimated that some six thousand tons of marble and granite were used to create this monumental work of art.

The central staircase is the focal point of the garden, where the golden Buddhas offer you a calm welcome.

At the central lake, KOI (Japanese carp) fish can be seen, and sculpted dragons rise out of the water.

There is also the opportunity to see the seven hundred hand-painted terra cotta soldiers, each of them unique copies of those which were buried some 2,200 years ago.

Quinta da Bacalhôa, Azeitao, Setubal

The estate and the Palace of Bacalhôa have the distinction of dating back to the founders of the Avis dynasty.

Over the centuries, the architecture, the decor and the gardens of the Palace have been influenced by various owners, who drew inspiration from their travels across Europe, Africa and the Orient to transform the property into a rare gem.

As time has progressed, the estate has been beautified by Portuguese hand-painted tiles from the XV and XVI centuries evoking Moorish designs, and with a lakeside house with views over the estate and where the very first dated painted tile in Portugal can be found.


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Quinta de Regaleira. (Palacio Nacional de Queluz)

The Gardens of the National Palace of Queluz cover an area of 16 hectares (40 acres) in what was the former Royal Estate of Queluz. Used by the Royal Family as a privileged setting for its festivities and celebrations, especially in the period from 1752 to 1786, the gardens represent a valuable national heritage and are highly distinctive in landscape terms, being considered one of Portugal’s most important historical gardens.

The Park and Palace of Pena

The Park of Pena is composed of several gardens and landscaped areas stretching over 85 hectares, where native and exotic plant species originating from the four corners of the earth appear side by side in a luxuriant setting considered by some to be among the most beautiful scenery in both Portugal and Europe.

The Park & Palace of Monserrate

Japanese Garden

Collection of Asian plants, most notably bamboos and camellias.

Mexican Garden

The hottest and driest part of the garden of Monserrate. It has collections of plants from warm climates: palms, yuccas, nolinas, agaves and cycads. It was completely restored in 2010.

Rose Garden

A collection of historic varieties of rose bushes planted in the valley. A complete restoration was opened in 2011.

Palacio e Seteais, Sintra

Now a luxury hotel the gardens ….....

Portugal (Mainland) - South

Quinta das Lavandas, near Portalegre, in the Alto Alentejo and 4km from the lovely historic centre of Castelo de Vide

This is a unique experience in Portugal, an active farm where you can delight in lavender, its smell, its colour, and see many varieties. The Quinta currently has four-and-a-half hectares planted with lavender from the total area of 6 ha.

In the special area made as a Lavender Garden, you can see one of the largest existing collections of lavenders in Portugal containing over 40 varieties, including plants from cool and temperate climates.

Open Saturday & Sunday but check before travelling.

Portugal (Madeira)

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The Quinta do Bom Sucesso, Reid's Palace Hotel

Portugal (Azores)

Terra Nostra Garden - Portugal (Azores -  Sao Miguel island)

Created some 200 years ago, major changes over the past two decades continue to enrich its botanical value through the acquisition of new plant species. The garden has collections and beds with plants of major historical and cultural value including the Fern Collection (300 different species, varieties and cultivars), the Cycadales Collection (85 different species and sub-species), the Camellia Collection (more than 600 different species and cultivars), the Azorean Endemic and Native Flora Garden (including several examples of the major plants endemic to the island of São Miguel) and, finally, the Vireya Garden – Malaysia Rhododendron, with a display of magnificent colours, all year round.

In 2010, a new area adjacent to the garden of endemic and native Azorean plants for the most recent collection of 100 Bromeliads.

New projects are continually being developed in such a way as to ensure the conservation of this unique environment, particularly, the creation of a bamboo garden and an artificial lake to host the Victoria cruziana Orb., a water plant of the Nymphaeaceae family, from northern Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia.

Antonio Borges botantical garden

Founded as a private garden in the 19 th century by the pineapple cultivator of the same name, today it's a very pleasantly laid-out public green space with many beautiful specimens from all over the world. Especially noteworthy is a superb Indian rubber tree. There are also fountains and a café with a nice esplanade… a pleasant place to while away a little!

Santana Palace gardens

The palace is the seat of the governor of the Azores.

It was built in 1851 along with the garden which has plants from Australia, New Zealand, tropical America and southern Africa.

The Azores endemic plants are represented.

Visits are by arrangement only

Jose do Canto estate gardens

Created by Jose do Canto, a well-known gardener and botanist.

The park is an example of a garden in Victorian style with a mass of botanical plants.

With about 6000 trees and shrubs.

The garden is situated next to the gardens of the Satana Palace, the residence of the governor of the Azores.

Plant Collections

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United Kingdom

Salvias - Robins Salvias

A Salvia enthusiast for 20+ years who has catalogued the best UK web site for identification.

The Cistus & Halimium web site

Bob Page has collected a wealth of information and shares this with you.

Beth Chatto – Dry garden plants nursery

Pioneering plantswoman. Essex based, the driest part of the UK, her advice is sound.

Gardening Books - Specialist

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Kew Books

A broad selection. Algarve wild flowers is excellent.

Generally check with MGAP for special prices.

Kistenbosch BG bookstore

Specialising in South African flora. Large selection of out of print books.

Silverhill Seeds

Extensive and eclectic mix of books and seeds. The owners are passionate collectors.

Plant identification & Databases

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Plant lives

This is a prime source of Plant Biographies on the Internet. It contains over 4,000 species and genera, at least 30,000 botanical synonyms and even more common names (in many languages), and over 800 authoritative reference works are addressed.

The International Plant names index

The definitive plant name index.

First Nature

European wild flowers listings.

First Nature

Algarve wild flower locations and listings.

First Nature

Cape St Vincent wild flower locations and listings.

Pacific Bulb Society

Very comprehensive and good photos.

Robins Salvias

An enthusiast for 20+ years who has catalogued the best UK web site for Salvia identification.

Laspilitas Nursery – California - Salvias

Good photos and videos. Hummingbirds abound!

Flora On. (PT)

(PT). Lots of photos.

Barrocal Flora

(PT). Downloadable file – beware it's 6mb. Pages 130 onwards have plant pic's / info.

Associação Portuguesa de Orquidofilia (Lusorquideas)

(PT) Group of enthusiasts. Annual exhibitions.

List of the Best Gardening Databases

Links to many online databases within the categories of Botany, Floriculture, Flowers, Plants, Trees and Weeds

Fruit & Vegetables

Gardening in Spain

The authors of several books. Clodagh & Dick Hanscombe have a very down to earth and successful approach but you need to get past the endless sales pitch to buy their books and an index would be very useful.


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United Kingdom

Beth Chatto, Chelmsford, Essex

Beth pioneered dry gardening in the Uk. Great catalogue which can be sent throughout Europe.

Downderry Nursery, Tonbridge, Kent

Holders of national collection of lavendula.????? and an impressive breading programme.

SA bulbs at Desireable Plants

Good range and mail order.


Cayeux Iris,La Carcaudière,

Bulb Argence, Mas d'Argence, 30300 Fourques, S France

Bulb’Argence is a family run nursery, situated in the Provence (South of France), who offers an interesting range of speciality bulbs, which are rarely found elsewhere. You will find the species particularly suited for a Mediterranean garden.

Pépinière Filippi, Meze, S France

French. We are a small nursery specialized in a botanical range of drought tolerant plants. For more than fifteen years we have studied plants resistant to the heat, wind, limestone, and occasional severe cold of the Languedoc region.

Please come and visit us if you can : we will be happy to show you our major collections and our latest introductions of less common plants. Olivier is a respected author and broadcaster.

Pépinière de l'Armalette, Chemin de la piscine, 83690 Sillans-la-Cascade, S France

In French. Downloadable catalogue. Broad list.

Pépinière PALMARIS, Figarèdes d'en haut, 09130 SIEURAS, France

Palmaris grows and sells by mail order a variety of different palms from all parts of the world and suitable for every climate. But not only palms, we also offer agaves, yuccas, dasylirions, aloes, heliconias, banana plants, hardy cacti, aracae and exotic flowers and fruit trees.


Semillas Silvestres, S.L. - Finca "La Loma" Ctra. Santa María de Trassierra, Cordoba

After more than two decades devoted exclusively to the production of Iberian native seeds, Semillas Silvestres presents a wide range of Iberian plant genetic resources.

In addition to the more traditional, tree or shrub, or gymnosperms planifolias forest species, is a select group of annual, biennial and perennial herbaceous species, noted for its applications and potential use in Mediterranean gardening.

Gardens of Europe – All types

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An enthusiastic garden traveller

Good photos enhance the basic descriptions. No links to the garden web sites.

Horticultural Societies Mediterranean Associations Portugal Public Gardens Plant collections Specialist Gardening Books Plant Identification Fruit & Vegetables Nurseries Gardens of Europe – All types

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