Sunday, 31 May 2009


If anyone wants to check out Sakis' wonderful Cretan oils etc, he now has a website If you place an order, please let Sakis know that you found him via Flowers of Crete. He will be SO pleased. He is a lovely young Cretan with a passion for the flowers and the healing qualities of the herbs of Crete. He and his family are great supporters of the work we are doing and he really deserves to succeed.

Cretan dittany

Cretan Dittany or O. dictamnus is endemic to Crete and is on the Greek Red List of endangered species. I've only seen it in the wild once and that was last year on the Nida Plateau. It is one of the herbs used to flavour Martini and is cherished by the Cretans as a cure-all. For those who don't know this lovely little herb, here are a couple of my images. As Jude said the leaves are dried to make Dittany tea, which the Cretans use as a refreshing drink and as a medicinal tonic. The flowers look a bit like a Shrimp Plant but it is a member of the Oregano family.

Tea with Rosemary

I popped down to see Rosemary in Elounda this morning and we spent a happy hour discussing flowers, including this little yellow Linum - maybe L. arboreum. It was growing on quite a steep cliff wall, which I had clambered up, while Rosemary and Steve walked further into the gorge to find a variety of interesting plants, including O. dictamnus (Cretan dittany), which I have only seen growing in the wild once before. This plant is on the Greek Red List of Endangered Species and I am determined I am going to struggle over the boulders and into the gorge to see it for myself. O. dictamnus flowers in July/August - so I hope to be posting images sometime then.

The image on the right is, I'm afraid, a little out of focus. I was balanced precariously on a cliff face and the wind was quite strong. Will try again next time we go up!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Welcome to my World!!

This is the day to day story of my life in a small traditional village on the east coast of the beautiful Greek island of Crete. I spend much of my time in the mountains, looking for and photographing wild flowers, which are my passion. Here is a photo of the main street of my village - where you are more likely to see an old woman on a donkey, or a small flock of sheep or goats, than a car or van. The streets are definitely too narrow for a lorry. My neighbours are mostly Greek, mostly old and very, very kind to me. A piece of cake offered to a neighbour results in the gift of raki, olive oil, wine, or grapes, depending on the season. I live next door to the local kafenion, where Maria makes the best Greek coffee in the world.