Mediterranean Garden Society
The MGS Garden at Sparoza
Sparoza is an experimental garden on the outskirts of Athens created by Mary Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, who was an early advocate for choosing plants to suit the conditions. For 20 years before her death in 1983, Tyrwhitt grew plants not just from Greece but from further afield, including South Africa, California, Mexico and Australia – as long as they could thrive in Athens' savage summers.
Here is a gallery of photographs of the house and grounds at Sparoza in the 1960s.
Ten years after Jaqueline Tyrwhitt bequeathed the garden to the Goulandris Natural History Museum, Sally Razelou became its Custodian. She was one of those who conceived the idea of establishing the Mediterranean Garden Society, which now sponsors Sparoza.
For a ‘guided tour’ of the garden click here.
For additional reports and articles on this subject please check out the (non-responsive) MGS Archive.
The garden has a quiet but steadily growing reputation in the gardening world, its renown not reflecting grandiosity or expense but rather its philosophy of matching the aesthetic sensitivity of the gardener with the limitations and opportunities offered by the difficult and typically mediterranean conditions of this Attica hillside. It is, in other words, a place where beauty and climate compatibility go hand in hand.
Members of the MGS are very welcome to visit by arrangement throughout the year. The Custodian, who lives in the house, or local members of the MGS, will guide you round. Please email in advance to make an appointment so that they can be available. It is regretted that unannounced visits cannot be accommodated, nor can appointments be made for Sundays. The garden is not open to non-members or to tour operators.
Thursday mornings between September and the end of June are particularly recommended for visits so that you can also meet the volunteers who work from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and be invited to share their post-work refreshments. The garden is close to the Athens airport and can easily be reached by airport buses or car.
THE MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN is the registered trademark of The Mediterranean Garden Society in the European Union, Australia, and the United States of America