‘Growing Gardeners’ Conference Begins

Gardening professionals from Morocco, Spain and England have joined together in Essaouira for the International Landscape Conference initiated by REEP. Today conference attendees had time get to know one another in preparation for the first day of the conference tomorrow.


REEP Exhibition at Dar Souiri Museum in Essaouira


Our Director’s husband, Richard McLaren, generously treated the conference participants to canapés and drinks at the Heure Bleu hotel, where we all enjoyed seeing the beautiful roof terrace and the tropical planting in the courtyard.

Conference Participants in the courtyard of the Heure Bleu Palais in Essaouira


More About the Conference:

This year the ‘SHORE TO SHORE’ Festival initiated by REEP focuses on Gardens, recognising COP22 and the United Nations Year of Sustainable Development. By using existing work in Britain, Morocco and Spain, the Conference explores ways of encouraging young people to be more aware of their environment and to become educated in creating, maintaining and using gardens and public spaces. The conference takes place in Marrakech and Essaouira, Morocco.

Presentations have a particular focus on educational and health settings, as well as the importance of education for sustainable development and tourism. The expected outcomes of the conference include the creation of a network of individuals and organisations in Morocco, Spain and Britain, interested in social, personal and educational development through gardening and landscape architecture.


Conference Presenters:

Rebecca Ashbey, Cressing Temple Garden, Essex

Sam Crosfield, Royal College of Physicians’ Garden, London

M’barek L’Harcha, Provincial Director of Education, Essaouira

Hassan Hargoune, CHAMS Association for Mental Health, Marrakech

Glyn Jones Head of Gardens, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Souad Layadi, Regional Co-ordinator of Sustainable Development, Académie de la Région de Marrakech-Safi

Ricardo Librero Landscape Architect, Seville

Neil Miller, Head of Gardens, Hever Castle

Ouidad Tebbaa, Professor, Cadi Ayyad University


Projects in Action:

Amal Women’s Project, Marrakech

The ‘Anglo-Moroccan Shakespeare Garden’ at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech

Collège El Jadida, Essaouira

Eco-School ‘11th January’, Marrakech

Environmental Education Centre (CEE), Marrakech

Saada Psychiatric Hospital, Marrakech



The Conference is dedicated to two great Gardeners, one recently deceased, Mohammed El Faiz, and one, Gertrude Jekyll who has been dead for many years but who is seen as one of the most important historic figures in British gardening. She was dedicated to education and her family has been among those who have enabled this event to take place.