As of every summer after the destructive fire of 2004, we are ready to welcome spring in our Botanical park and gardens of Crete. Our park full of flowers and blossoms is here to welcome you into an educational, healthy and relaxing experience. This is whywe are a top priority for things to do in Chania for a vast majority of visitors.
Botanical park and gardens of Crete: A season walkthrough
Our park is open for visitors from March till November, we could certainly say that each of the seasons has its advantages. In the winter, there is occasional fog and rain which adds to the mystery of the experience. In autumn there is a lovely depressing atmosphere, as our trees and flowers are starting to welcome the winter. In summer everything blooms and the vegetation is lush. We believe that spring offers a special kind of excitement, as every tree and flower in our Botanical Gardens is in simultaneous coordination with bees and other beneficial animals in order to propagate. In this article we will show you two of our favourite flowers that can be found in abundance in our park. We welcome you to interact with them, personally!
Geranium or as per Greek say, “ Psarogalos ”
Geranium is one of the most easily recognizable flowers in Crete. It can be found in every traditional Cretan house as it is fairly easy to maintain, has beautiful calipers and offers loads of flower blossoms, so it is very famous amongst housewives. It is also seen in abundance in our Botanical park and gardens as it is one of our visitors’ loveliest flowers.
Psarogalos has its origins in South Africa and due to similarities in climate that can be found all over the Mediterranean Peninsula it is now one of the most well known flowers in our region. Geranium is translated in Greek as Gerani ( Γεράνι) which literally means Crane, due to the likeness of the flower petals that look similar to it. Geranium has a lot of flower range, many of them with different or multiple colours in one plant.
Geranium is at its peak during the summer months when it produces lots of flowers and has great growth. During the winter months though, Geranium rarely produces flowers but still keeps its lush green leaves and it’s a wonderful sight altogether. Our Botanical park and gardens in Crete have many of its varieties, and we have found out that these species are extremely durable against plant diseases making them ideal for every household.
It is also very easy to multiply Geranium, as you can also take away a long flower stem and make your own plant. You only have to remove the last pair of leaves, and plant it in water rich soil, away from direct sunlight. After a couple of days you will notice that the flower will begin to grow on its own! In the picture below, we see a Geranium with a bee pollinating it , doing its part for the reproduction!
Agisaros: What Crete is proud of!
Agisaros, or per its botanical name Cistus Creticus is one of the well known bushes all over the Southern Mediterranean, although it can be found in abundance in Crete, central Greece and some other Greek islands too. Depending on the colour of the blossoms, some of those plants produce a special resin from its leaves, and some not. For example, plants with blue flowers do produse this resin, while plants with white flowers don’t.
During the early summer months they hand pick the resin out of this herb which has been used from ancient times, as they’ve found out that it is beneficial for health. This resin has astounding health properties, some of those in the cosmetologic , dermatologic and gasterentologic sector. Picking its resin is a tedious job, as workers have to invent a hand picking stick, with some leather stripes attached to it. Then, they gently caress the Agisaros leaves, therefore the resin sticks to the leather stripes for collection. It is found out that the best quality of this specific resin can be found in Crete, and especially in Sisses area, some kilometers outside of Rethymnon. They also have a processing factory in which they package and make by products out of this resin for cosmetic and health purposes.
An alternative name for Agisaros in Greek is Ladanon which is a derivative of the Greek word for oil, which is Ladi ( Λάδι) . This is due to the fact we analyzed before, that its leaves have a special property to exude some kind of an oil/balm very beneficial to the humans.
Agisaros can be found in many places all over Omalos Plateau, Park of flora and Fauna in Chania (Akrotiri Region) as well as in many areas scattered all over our premises in the Botanical park and gardens of Crete. As always, those flowers are ready to indulge you into a new botanic world! For more information about endemic flora of Crete you can visit here !