‘Growing Gardeners’ Conference: DAY ONE

Gardening professionals from Morocco, Spain and England have joined us at Dar Souiri Museum in Essaouira for the ‘Growing Gardeners’ Landscape Conference. Here are today’s highlights…

The Opening Address at Dar Souiri, Essaouira

REEP Director, Diana Lazenby McLaren gave an opening address, explaining the context and aims of the encounter


Session One’s theme was ‘Gardens and Education’. We had presentations from…

M’barek L’Harcha, Provincial Director of Education, Essaouira, presents at Dar Sour in Essaouira

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


Neil Miller, Head of Gardens, Hever Castle, presents at Dar Souiri, Essaouira

Neil Miller Head of Gardens, Hever Castle


Souad Layadi Regional Co-ordinator of Sustainable Development, Académie de la Région de Marrakech-Safi, and Rebecca Ashbey Cressing Temple Garden, Essex.


The Theme of Session Two was ‘Gardens and Health’. There were presentations by…

Hassane Hargoune, CHAMS Association for Mental Health, Marrakech, presents at Dar Souri Museum in Essaouira

Hassan Hargoune, Chams Association for Mental Health, Marrakech


Sam Crosfield, Royal College of Physicians’ Garden, London, presents at Dar Souri in Essaouira

Sam Crosfield, Royal College of Physicians’ Garden, London


In the third session of the day we visited Collége El Jadida to see a project in action. REEP helped to create a school garden here as part of Shore to Shore 2014, and the college have been inspired to continue developing gardens and encouraging students to garden ever since.

A new garden area at El Jadida College in Essaouira

Look this new garden area that the school has created – what a clever use of coloured stones and geometric patterns!


El Jadida College students perform Gnaoua for conference participants

Students from El Jadida College performed a traditional Moroccan dance called Gnaoua for the conference participants


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.



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.