3 August 2011
Dan's Cretan getaway
Dan Back, Designer and Project Manager at Arne Maynard Garden Design, recently returned from a sunny holiday in Crete with a surprising tale of cliff top wild flowers. He shares some of his holiday snaps and takes us back to Greece.
I reluctantly returned from a wonderfully sunny two weeks in Crete to the Central London design studio with a surprising tale of Greek cliff top wild flowers. Yes, a holiday is supposed to give you a break from the day-job but when you love and work with plants you can never quite escape. And, to be honest, there's only so much beach bathing and sea fishing one man and his son can indulge in before heading for the hills!
So, we found ourselves taking a brisk and refreshing hill walk, setting off from our beach-side hotel and heading up and over the cliffs. The views were breath-taking but even more amazing were the wild plants I found growing there. Native Cretans must surely never tire of seeing the caper plant (Capparis orientalis) flower, particularly when they find wild alliums and giant thistles growing alongside. I also found sea-holly (Eryngium maritimum), sea-lavender and a brilliant wiry, ground-hugging plant calledLaunaea arborescenswhich creeps over cliff top rocks and among other plants giving everything a silvery sheen. Its silver blue foliage is the perfect complement to an azure blue seascape.