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.
Read an article in The Age newspaper about the vision of Jacqueline Tyrwhitt and how the house and garden have evolved.
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.
Read an article here by Caroline Harbouri in the 100th edition of The Mediterranean Garden Journal “Sparoza: What the Garden Is (and Isn’t)”.
Sally Razalou writes here about the challenges of unpredictable rainfall for gardening at Sparoza.
Members of the MGS, prospective members and their friends are welcome to visit by appointment only. Please email in advance to arrange an appointment. The Custodian, who lives in the house, or members of the MGS will guide your around. It is regretted that unannounced visits cannot be accommodated nor can appointments be made for Sundays.
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.
To see what is in bloom right now at Sparoza and at other times of the year go here.
THE MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN is the registered trademark of The Mediterranean Garden Society in the European Union, Australia, and the United States of America