The Mediterranean Gardening Association’s ‘Spring Garden Fair’ was held on Saturday 5th March and we went along to see what it was all about!
The event was held at the very pretty and idyllic Quinta da Figueirinha on the edge of Silves, a fabulous setting in the beautiful rural countryside – it was also really well signed from the main road which was a real bonus!
The Quinta is a family-run bio-agricultural farm that also has self-catering accommodation available to rent for holidays, and they also run guided tours focussing on organic produce, renewable energy, sustainability, and agricultural research and development. It was certainly the perfect setting for the garden fair.
The fair was organised by the Mediterranean Gardening Association and was a nice mixture of stalls, sales, food and produce, and talks, all combined together for the day. And the entry fee was only 2 euros as well with free parking.
The stands were selling native and Mediterranean plants suitable for Algarve gardens including succulents, robust perennials, trees and shrubs … and pretty flowering plants. You will probably deduce that we are not gardeners … but we did enjoy wandering around looking at the displays!
It was a shame that the area didn’t have more stands and plants for sale – there was room for more – and there were certainly plenty of people there keen to buy!
It was a lovely setting in the gardens under the trees:
We were also very lucky with the weather as the forecast wasn’t great for the day – and at one point we did look up at the clouds and think ‘uh-oh’
But then the clouds all danced away and we were left with glorious sunshine and blue skies for the rest of the day.
We were keen to wander around and enjoy the beautiful setting, and took ourselves off to have a wander around – there are lots of walks signed around the estate to enjoy – and we discovered this fabulous wooden hut that we both wanted to live in!
The event also held a plant clinic run which was run by experienced Algarve gardeners giving practical advice; and they also offered free irrigation water salinity tests to anyone that took along a sample with them. There was even a competition on the day to win a self-catering weekend at the Quinta by answering a quiz.
There were also stalls selling produce and gifts, a book stall and an charity cake stall for the friends of the Canil in Portimão, and pony rides for the children!
There were also talks set up during the day for those interested, including the renowned authority on herbs, Daisy Mae talking about ‘The medicine of our tasty aromatics’
One treat that we discovered was the delightful garden area adjoining the bar area – it was such a pretty little spot .. and there was a stall selling nutella crêpes .. well it would have been rude not to!
It was fun to wander around and watch the demonstrations as they happened:
Our favourite group were the very entertaining and friendly Naturarbo tree surgeons:
These guys really knew their stuff and they were keen to demonstrate it too – they certainly weren’t frightened of heights!
We had a lovely day wandering around – meeting lots of friends – it was a lovely spot to just stand and chat – and make new friends – and enjoy the sunshine.
We had only initially planned to go for an hour or so – it ran from 11am to 4pm .. but we had such a lovely time and met so many friends – that we were one of the last to leave – as you can see by the ‘car park’ .. yes that’s us sat there all alone .. it was full when we arrived!
The fair will hopefully become an annual event on the calendar now – there were certainly lots of people there – and let’s hope that next year there might even be more stalls and things to enjoy .. we did think that a children’s entertainer (how to juggle?!) perhaps would have been a great addition for all the families that were there … so let’s hope this event grows each year!
And let’s hope that our little fruit trees in our garden can produce fruit like this in the future!
Here are some more pictures of the event for you to enjoy – click on any image to start the slideshow: