The April meeting comprised a guided tour around the gardens of the Letoonia Resort in Fethiye which are glorious.
The buildings are also breathtaking, built in the style of Nail Çakırhan, who started creating timber framed houses trimmed with carved wood in Akyaka in the late 1960s, when he designed and built a one-storey retirement home for himself and his wife.
That building won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983. His original house is now used as Akyaka’s Cultural & Exhibition Centre and is well worth a visit. Though it can’t really compare with the glorious atrium in the entry area of the main hotel building at Letoonia.
The gardens at Letoonia are especially beautiful because they are mature, planting having started in 1986, and the original forest having been preserved.
In summer 22 gardeners maintain the site with this number dropping to 15 in winter.
They do a great job as much of the site is steep hillsides, all of it planted with groundcover as well as trees and shrubs, and this writer spotted only one weed!
Whilst there is a pretty comprehensive irrigation system, the gardeners still have a lot of pots, troughs and small beds to water daily.
We asked a gardener what he most liked about the gardens (he has worked there for ten years), and he said the natural style of planting.
Certainly the design of the gardens is much closer to styles employed in Britain, than those common in Turkey.
Whilst there isn’t much colour in the garden at this time of year, the swathes of bougainvillea look glorious when they come into bloom later, and even now it is easy to appreciate how welcome the shady avenues will be to guests staying there in the hot summer months.
All members agreed that being in the Letoonia Resort felt like being miles away from Fethiye.
There are 2km of sandy beach, a 3km walk within the gardens and endless quiet corners where you can relax in the shade in privacy, yet with impressive views across the bay.
You can buy a day pass to the Resort for 100TL which lets you in from 10am to 11pm and includes all meals, snacks, local alcoholic drinks and entertainment. Why not treat yourself soon?