Greek gardens

Backdrop

There is something about Greece that makes me go berserk for all the right reasons. Read more to learn about this.

Its history, culture, the exotic cuisine garnished with Greek herbs and the architectural splendour makes it the perfect escape for holidays or honeymoons. If Greece paints the portrait of cultural potpourri, divine locales and refined tastes, then, have you ever imagined what a Greek garden would look like?

greek gardens

Breathtaking, know?

One often draws a sharp distinction between gardening in Greece during the ancient Greek Period and Hellenistic gardens constructed under the Greek influence during classical times.

The Minoan culture was the embodiment of carefully tamed wild landscapes stylised in rich and colourful burst of floral, sacred landscape. It has also been assumed that the crevices or fissures and the tool-trimmed openings might once have been graced with plants.

The Hellenistic gardens were the repositories of grand, walled landscapes with water-powered automata and water organs. The Late Classical times witnessed the peristyle form. The peristyle form can be epitomized by a paved courtyard adorned with potted plants which would go on to record the Persian and Egyptian influence. These were enclosed within a roofed loggia. The peristyle form in Grecian gardening was prevalent in grand, luxurious private homes.

It has been contested that while diverse realms of art made its sonorous impact in the global map, there is obscurity and an impenetrable silence about the gardening of a bygone Greece, more so because little is known about it.

Modern Greek Gardens Aspects

Greek Gardens have an almost lavish and ostentatious feel to them, but they are far from formal. Greek Gardens may incorporate straight lines and curves with geometric shapes constructed using simple stonework, while inculcating a charming array of all kinds of plants and flowers, and outdoor furniture spaced about, inviting visitors to lounge upon.

greek gardens

Greek styled garden on the island of Paros, Greece.

Modern Greek gardens consist of indigenous flora, along with a plethora of features that is typical of Grecian gardening. The plants and trees used in the garden conforms to the warm  arid climate of Greece. Since Greece subsumes within the Mediterranean region, Greek Gardens are also known by the name of Mediterranean Gardens.

Just like how the Americans love their burger and the French their wine, the Greeks have a soft spot for the colour white. It exudes vibes of serenity, elegance, equanimity, contentment, warmth and an eternal welcoming note for  visitors. This love for white is testified in their predilection for marble flooring. In fact, the Greeks love marbles to an extent that the patios, verandas, planters, benches and fountains are all constructed with marbles.

Variations of Greek Gardens include using smaller numbers of plants in each bed to allow for each variety to stand out by itself, using statues and artifacts amply and banking upon various interesting shapes and colours in trees and shrubbery to design a pleasing landscape.greek gardens

You could also evoke a Greek Garden style with large, ground level fountains or water features, stone steps planted with trimmed grass, along with overgrown paths surrounded by lush ground cover.

  • Integrating both straight lines and curved, wandering paths are common, and, so is defining eating and gathering spaces by geometric shapes. A circular patio for eating, surrounded by warping paths can be considered.
  • Stones and bricks are familiar characters of Greek Gardens. Smooth stones are prefered over rough rustic ones. It is commonplace to allow grass or groundcover infiltrate the cracks in brick pathways.
    greek gardens

    Central Courtyard, Eastward, Greek Cultural Garden

  • Water, another important feature of Greek Garden styles may be provided using a classical style fountain with moving water, or you may just integrate a long, low, flat water feature. Long narrow spaces are frequently filled up by incorporating a long, flat stone rimmed pool.
  • Greek Gardens may harbour flowers, herbs, fruit trees, and succulents, all in the same garden.

Pergolas as Car Shelters

Metal pergolas and arbours, mostly done in white, are attached adjacent to the concerned house. These are utilized as garage and driveways for cars. The visual appeal of these shaded structure of pergolas and arbours are enhanced by the sprawling floral creepers or grape vines!

The yards are not elaborate and the space is utilized for sheltering the cars. But, it is noteworthy that whatever is the amount of space that could be managed, the Grecians are hearty enough to adorn with flora. Since the houses boast of white as their dominant colour palette, the other streaks of colour comes from the potted plants with vibrant flowers or the floral cornucopia in the garden.

The stone façade and the arched architectural features of arbours and pergolas against a majorly white backdrop intensify the view of the plants and let the colours of the flora narrate their own story.

Greek Garden Plants

Here goes a list of some essential plants in a Greek garden:

  • Crape Myrtles– It is during the summer that these plants are blessed with blooming flowers. During autumn, the leaves turn yellow or red, before the leaves severe themselves from the tree. Crape Myrtles should be pampered with direct and full exposure to the sunlight, else they would be assaulted by fungal and mildew problems.
  • Greek Oregano– This perennial plant has an affinity for well-drained soil. The ideal period for its growth is the driest part of the year, when it receives additional moisture from watering. It is used extensively in Greek cuisine.
  • Rosemary– Rosemary plants grow tall and erect.They boast thick, dense and narrow leaves and unlike Crape Myrtles, they are immune to fungal invasions.
  • Cyprus
  • Euphorbia
  • Succulents and drought-resistant perennials
  • Evergreens
  • Lavender
  • Oleander
  • Olive
  • Poppy
  • Sage

Happy Gardening

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