The Project

GardMed is a project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), under the Italy-Malta Cross Border Cooperation Program 2007-2013, that aims at implementing cooperation in the island cross-border areas and promoting competitiveness, innovation and research.

The GardMed project targets to improve the public awareness and fruition of Mediterranean gardens by creating a garden network for selected sites, both in Sicily and Malta, in order to enhance their conservation, valorization, sustainable management and touristic relevance.

Read the interview with GARDMED’s Stena Paternò on the challenges Mediterranean gardens face and how projects like this one can help!

The Mediterranean area is rich of gardens having a historical, cultural and natural heritage that are often unknown or misappreciated, while they are worth to be well valued and changed in economic resources, opportunities for sustainable development, and tourist attractions.

GardMed project involves many research, planning and experimental activities ranging from the definition of shared criteria characterizing a Mediterranean garden, to garden study by historical research, landscape and style analysis, botanical investigation, check of natural or architectural strengths and touristic potentiality, up to the development and application of a best practice model for garden management in two selected public gardens.

Other important activities deal with communication plans and promotional tools to increase public awareness about gardens at local and international level, and to favor new approaches to understanding and living gardens. These actions involve public cultural events, this informative garden brochure, a multilanguage catalogue for selected gardens, a website ( and integrated tourist routes for Sicilian and Maltesian gardens.

The GardMed project involves eighteen gardens, both public and private, located in Malta and in the southern part of Sicily, mainly in Siracusa and Ragusa province.

Proposing partners and responsible for all activities are the Botanical Garden of Catania and Siracusa municipality in Sicily, the Argotti Botanical Gardens  (University of Malta) and Floriana municipality in Malta. The main role of both Botanical Gardens is to ensure all scientific and technique supports, while municipalities aim to improve tourism, cultural promotion and public awareness, as well as to apply innovative methods of garden management.

GardMed project takes place over twenty four months, culminating in an international conference to be held in Malta which will present project results and engage participating stakeholders in a discussion on the future of the Network.