Green-fingered ways to adapt to Mediterranean climate

A visit to rose breeder Dominique Massad, near Marseille

Are you struggling to get your garden to flourish?

Mediterranean Gardening France might be able to help anyone from the Pyrénées to the Côte d’Azur.

The association was founded in 2014 and president Christine Daniels says the aim is to exchange ideas and experiences to create a lovely garden, without wasting water.

Members come from different countries in northern Europe and even experienced gardeners find it a challenge to adapt to the new conditions.The association has about 250 members and covers a large area.

Events throughout the region include garden visits, where members look at what has and has not worked and learn by sharing stories; wild plant walks, where looking at plants growing in their natural state can give hints about where and how to grow them in a garden; and workshops.

Mrs Daniels said: “A pruning workshop at my house was really fascinating.” There is a regular newsletter and plenty of information on the mediterraneangardeningfrance.org website, on which members can contribute.

“You could learn just from looking at the website”, said Mrs Daniels.

Mediterranean garden plants are not the same as those that thrive in other areas of northern Europe, so the association gives the chance to learn about a range of them.

The main challenges for gardening in the Mediterranean are the climate and soil.

There is very little water throughout the summer and, when the rain comes, it does so in huge downpours.

Plants need to be able to cope with strong winds such as the Mistral and Tramontane. Soils are frequently clay, so badly drained, or stony and difficult to work, and many people have to deal with steep slopes.

Joining Mediterranean Gardening France costs €10 a year, or €25 for three years.

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