I am a bit late with my Top Ten September blooms, in fact I haven’t been here to see what was in bloom for most of the month. The flowers I have seen are quite unlike the ones in my garden.
I have been in the deep Mani area in the south Peloponnese. Here there are villages of tall, medieval tower houses where people fought bitter feuds with their neighbours. Even today it feels very remote and some days we met more goats than people.
We stayed in Stoupa in the shadow of the Taygetos mountains where Nikos Kazantzankis wrote Zorba the Greek based on a real local character. It was transposed to Crete in the film. But here is where the real Zorba lived.
We went up the mountain to the magical site of Mystras, the ancient Byzantine capital. We bought our tickets from a beautiful boy with soulful eyes with the face of a Byzantine saint.
We spent the night in the mountains overlooking Sparta. All round the Peloponnese in this ancient landscape you follow in the traces of legends and ancient history. Sparta is where the beautiful Helen was stolen away from Menelaus by Paris and this is what started the Trojan war. In the fifth century Leonidas, the Spartan king led an army of 300 hoplites to fight the Persians at the battle of Thermopylae
We went to Cape Tenaron, the southernmost point of mainland Greece where Homer tells us the entrance to Hades is guarded by Cerberus, the three- headed dog. We didn’t find the entrance to the Underworld but there is a temple to the sea god, Poseidon.
We went to down to cape Malea where Odysseus and his men were blown off course and landed on the island of the lotus- eaters. Maybe they landed on the nearby beautiful and lonely island of Elafonisos surrounded by turquoise waters and the most beautiful sandy beach I have ever seen.
‘All around the coast the languid air did swoon’. The Lotus Eaters. Alfred Tennyson
There were strange swimming companions.
And then we finished up on the medieval castle town of Monemvasia which is built on a rock sitting in the Myrtoan Sea.
It is a magical place at any time but especially when the sun has just risen.
Not much grows on this rock.
Coming home after spending most of September in Greece makes me realise how lucky we are with the sheer range and abundance of plants we can grow here. Although summer is over there is still so much to enjoy in the garden..
I am sorry to be late with my Top Ten September blooms but I shall do the post very soon. and then I shall enjoy reading about other September gardens and catching up with my blogging friends.
Your beautiful travel shots earn you a pass on the delay in getting your top 10 list together. What gorgeous scenery! I appreciated the historic and mythical commentary as well. My own garden looks like a debris field as the moment and I can scarcely bear to look at it. I suppose there’s no way for roofers to minimize the mess associated with their work.
Thank you Kris. Oh dear, having your beautiful garden trampelled on by builders must be heartbreaking for you, but surely the end is in sight now.
I enjoyed your travel photos, especially when it is of a place I probably won’t get to visit. I can actually grow three of the plants shown in your first picture.
Yes, the first three flowers must be familiar to you. The last one is a sand lily that grows in the dunes.
Yes, I looked up the lily and it was not familiar.
What a lovely holiday that must have been… your photos look languid and relaxing amidst the sea and landscape. Welcome back!
Thank you Eliza. Southern Greece is beautiful but it is lovely to be home.
Wow -lovely photos!
Thank you Eliza, it was wonderful, Greece is so beautiful and I love the history and seeing the places that Homer wrote about. But there is nothing quite as good as coming home.
September in Greece sounds idyllic. And this looks like a quiet region, unlike some of the islands now.
The Peloponnese is quite unspoilt. Last time we went we flew to Athens and drove down through Arcadia which was beautiful. This time we flew to Kalamata which is easy but not many people do it.
Oh what a fabulous destination to spend some time in Chloris. I hope that you have come back content and rested.
I have indeed thank you Anna. The trouble is I have to pack my bag and go off again tomorrow for a few days garden visiting with my gardening chums. I really would prefer to stay at home in my own garden.
What a marvellous adventure it looks like you have had. I am put off travelling to the region because of the heat. Your pictures make me think I need a rethink! Welcome back
Thank you Dorris. Greece is very hot in August but in September it is 28 to 30 degrees which is very nice on holiday.
Wow, Greece and the garden look great. Loving the commentary, my parents loved Greek tales.
Fantastic … and very tempting
What a great trip.The landscape is beautiful but rather bleak at the same time. Let me live where the green plants bloom! Your garden looks like it did fine in your absence.
What a beautiful place and photos! I did enjoy reading of your travels!xxx
No only is that brugmansia, but it is an old traditional form that is not often seen anymore. It may not be as brightly colored as modern forms, but it might be more fragrant.