Greece offers so much beauty in its views, landscapes, flora, beaches, mountains and picturesque villages. The most common images of Greece are probably the blue and white buildings of the islands. However, there are other colors of Greece that are captivating. The terra cotta buildings and rooftop gardens are charming and bring so much tranquility to the village life. The potted geraniums in Greece must be the happiest flowers in the world! 🙂 What more could a plant need to thrive than Greek sunshine and a loving Greek gardener to care for it? Sometimes, on our walks or drives, we saw villagers sitting on their balconies in pleasant company with their beautiful plants. We could feel their tranquility, vicariously. It was apparent that they valued simplicity and truly applied the philosophy ( that we all should) “Happiness consists not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have.” Gardening to the Greeks is like breathing. They don’t just want beautiful flowers around them, but also useful herbs to garnish their meals. Vegetable gardens for their homemade meals and fruit trees for their preserves and desserts are perfected skills of the Greeks.
Even a grapevine serves a multi-purpose need. The leaves can be picked and brined for stuffed grape leaves (dolmathes) and the vine itself serves as a pergola for Greeks to sit under for shade. Grapevine pergolas are probably one of my favorite visions of Greece because for me, they symbolize a gathering place, togetherness and a way of making something natural into something architectural!
© Gina Michalopulos Kingsley