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24th Annual General Meeting
Alicante Spain
25 to 28 October 2018

General Assembly     Programme of Events     Post-AGM Tour

Optional Pre-AGM Trip
Saturday 20 to Tuesday 23 October

View of the town of Santanyi and poppies

This short tour of the beautiful island of Mallorca will concentrate exclusively on private gardens, created, designed and owned by MGS members. Mallorca is a richly diverse island geologically, climatically, in soil structure and in the availability of water. From the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the flat, fertile plain of Es Pla, from the rugged coastlines of the east and north, to the sandy beaches of the south, the island contains a world of contrasts and surprises within its boundaries, including several uninhabited offshore islands, home to many endemic species of flora. During these few days we shall visit gardens across the island, from east to west, and north to south, showing how each has its own identity, character, and challenges, according to its location and its climate.


Saturday 20 October
Participants arrive at Palma airport and check into their chosen hotels on the sea front, about ten minutes from the heart of old Palma city centre. There will be a welcome reception in the evening, giving everyone a chance to meet each other, and hear about the programme of visits. Evening free to dine at the hotel, or go into Palma, a short taxi ride away.

Sunday 21 October
Visits to two important and inspiringly designed private gardens in the south-east of the island
First we shall visit the ongoing garden project at Son Muda. Begun only eight years ago as a White Garden, it has developed into a model for new gardens in several other countries. After lunch in a beautifully restored old country hotel we shall visit the completely different and contrasting garden of Ca’n Estel. Here the owners have created a garden park, dedicated to art, poetry and the classics, with fantastical topiary, statues and fountains. (In her account in TMG 67 of the 2011 AGM held in Mallorca Valerie Whittington writes of both Son Muda and Ca’n Estel, as well as of other gardens on the island.) The evening will be free.

Son Muda White Garden

Ca’n Estel

Monday 22 October
Visits to three private gardens, including that of the Mallorca Branch Head.
Today we drive to the south-west of the island, where we first visit the steep hillside garden of Branch Head Sally Beale and her husband Graham. They have used the original Arab dry-stone terraces to create ‘garden rooms’ which lead to a stunning view of the mountains and the valley below. As a contrast, we shall next visit a nearby garden in the valley, a spacious and peaceful garden with a very mediterranean feel to its planting and surroundings.
After lunch on the coast we shall head into the hills to visit a steeply terraced and intricately designed garden full of meandering paths through clipped mediterranean shrubs, roses, cypresses and many other species, all in subtle shades which blend into the wild landscape. The evening will be free.

Tuesday 23 October
Visits to two more private gardens and the iconic garden of former President Heidi Gildemeister.
Today we reach the high point of our tour when we climb to the unique garden created by the MGS’s second President Heidi Gildemeister and her late husband Enrique, hidden in the highest part of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. We shall be guided by the head gardener through the Quercus ilex woods to see the thousands of drought-tolerant plants, brought by Heidi from all over the world, which now thrive here naturally. Heidi described the creation of her garden in the very first issue of TMG in Summer 1995.

The garden of Heidi Gildemeister

We shall then enjoy a typical Mallorquin picnic before descending to the valley to visit an exciting brand-new garden, still under construction, with an Italian influence and containing many unusual plants imported from Italian nurseries. Lastly, we shall see the long-established garden of a Mallorquin nurseryman and plantsman. It contains a huge, eclectic collection of rare and exotic plants from all over the world and an enormous variety of succulents, so a visit here is an amazing experience.
In the evening there will be an optional drive into the old city centre of Palma for dinner at a typical tapas bar.

Cost – Pre-AGM Trip to Mallorca
For the Mallorca optional pre-AGM tour the programme price will be 200 euros per person not including accommodation and will cover coach travel to gardens, welcome drinks, lunches and garden visit fees.

Hotel Information and Prices
Please make you own hotel bookings and mention the Mediterranean Garden Society or MGS. The main hotel is recommended, and rooms have been provisionally reserved there. You can also make your own arrangements for accommodation in Mallorca through, Airbnb or the various hotel booking sites, although prices may vary from those quoted below.

Hotel Riu Palace Bonanza Playa 4*, Passeig Illetas 21, 07181 Calvia Mallorca
Situated in a quiet residential area, with its own small swimming cove and dock, Hotel Riu Palace Bonanza Playa is the perfect place to experience the best of Mallorca. Looking directly out over the Mediterranean, every room has its own private balcony. There is direct access to the sea, and the main Illetas beach is just a short walk away. Palma city centre is 10 minutes by taxi or bus. Sally Beale has negotiated special prices for the MGS.

  • B & B for two persons sharing - 133 euros per night (VAT included)
  • Half board for two, including a full international buffet dinner - 150 euros
  • B & B for single person in double room - 105 euros (VAT included)
  • Half board for single person, full international buffet dinner - 115 euros
  • Tourist tax not included
  • Transfer to and from Palma airport in hotel taxi - 30 euros each way

Telephone Carmen Sans at +34 607 753 824. Alternatively you can email quoting MGS garden group and reference Sally Beale. Rooms will be reserved with a credit card guarantee, no deposit required.

Coach will depart from and drop off at this main hotel, so it is highly recommended that participants stay here, rather than having to find their way to and from elsewhere in the area.

Roc Hotel Illetas 4*, Passeig Illetas 62, 07181 Calvia, Mallorca
The Roc Hotel is located 0.2 km from the main hotel, the Roc offers similar views and facilities, but less comfort and style.

  • Double room two persons sharing - approximately 80 euros per night
  • Double room, single occupancy - approximately 60 euros per night

Telephone +34 971 40 24 11. Alternatively you can email

Rooms have not been pre-booked at this, or any other hotel, except the Bonanza Playa. Rooms may be booked privately, and guests must make their own way to the main hotel for coach departures, and pick ups.

  • The MGS strongly recommends that you do not send your credit card details via an insecure email even if requested.
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