The historic gardens spread all over the Portuguese territory are hard to maintain and treasure due to the demand of financial resources and specialized professionals to care for this heritage.
In January 2003, the AJH – Associação Portuguesa dos Jardins Históricos (Historic Gardens Portuguese Association) was created. This creation was motivated by the need of gathering the owners with the same objectives, gathering specialized professionals and find solutions to keep treasuring the historic gardens in Portugal.
This initiative started with a group of gardening professionals that, after having made an inventory of the Portuguese gardens in 1998 demanded by the Fundo do Turismo, found the gardens in degradation. Aware of their heritage, economical and recreational value, the group took responsibility to create this association.
The members of AJH, since its foundation, are historic gardens owners or institutional officers and professionals from related areas such as landscape architects, architects, art historians, agronomist, foresters, lawyers and economists.
Throughout more than fifteen years, one of the greatest AJH’s assets was the participation on the project that aimed to saving twelve private gardens focusing on the maintenance and restoration of hydraulic systems and other built structures (EEAGrants). These gardens are across the country. This investment raised interest on its opening to the public and to heritage rentability. Other activities of the association include the gardening art and Portuguese gardens promotion conferences as well as graduating courses to associates and others interested on the conservation. Also, the association promotes cultural tours to Portuguese and foreign historic gardens.
After being approved by the Turismo de Portugal on the program VALORIZAR to implement the Portuguese Historic Gardens Routes (2018-2019), the AJH boosted its activities by getting involved in the application to the European Council to create the European Cultural Route: historic gardens.