Sunday 27 December 2009

Petition - Help Save the Cretan Palm

Please sign our petition at
to help raise awareness of this threat to our environment.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Flower Finding Trips

There will be a series of Flower Finding Trips in Spring 2010 - for more information please get in touch. First two weeks will be orchid finding and the second flower finding. We will be travelling the length and breadth of the island and seeing lots of interesting and exciting places.

Sunday 13 December 2009

Art Exhibition at Kolymbari

There will be an art exhibition for the environment during the International Conference on Biodiversity at the Greek Orthodox Academy in Kolymbari in May 2010. The subject of the exhibition will be 'The Flowers of Crete'. Exhibits can be in any medium except photography, which is the subject of a competition which will also be displayed during the conference. if you would like to exhibit, please contact me for further information.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Christmas Fair

There will be a Christmas Fair for Flowers at Cindy's Bar, Aghios Nikolaos on 11th December at 4.00 until 7.00. Home-made mincepies, mulled wine, carols, raffle for a Christmas hamper and much more. Flowers of Crete christmas cards! Please come and join us.

Friday 13 November 2009

Information in Greek - please pass it on

Ο κρητικός Φοίνικας εκπέμπει σήμα SOS…

Βρισκόμαστε στη δυσάρεστη θέση να ενημερώσουμε τα μέλη και τους υποστηρικτές μας ότι, την προηγούμενη εβδομάδα, η Rosemary βρήκε ένα νεκρό αρσενικό δείγμα του καταστρεπτικού κόκκινου ρυγχωτού κανθάρου φοινικών στην πλατεία της Ελούντας. Αυτό το έντομο είναι μια απειλή στα ενδημικά κρητικά δάση φοινικών σε Βάι και Πρέβελη και πρέπει να καταβληθεί κάθε προσπάθεια που θα καταφέρει να σταματήσει την καταστρεπτική του μανία. Έχει βρεθεί και στον Άγιο Νικόλαο αλλά και κατά μήκος της ακτής μεταξύ Ηρακλείου και Μιλάτου, όπου πολλά μολυσμένα δέντρα έχουν ήδη ξεραθεί.

Όλες οι αρμόδιες αρχές έχουν ενημερωθεί και θα σας ενημερώνουμε για το ποια μέτρα λαμβάνονται ώστε να ελέγξουν αυτήν την απειλή.

Στο μεταξύ, τοποθετούμε μια φωτογραφία αυτού του ρυγχωτού κανθάρου.

Εάν βρίσκετε αυτό το έντομο, παρακαλούμε να το καταστρέψτε και να κρατήστε τα υπολείμματα. Παρακαλούμε επίσης να το φωτογραφίστε και να μας στείλετε τις λεπτομέρειες στην παρακάτω ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση www.flowersofcrete. info, έτσι ώστε να μπορούμε να ενημερώσουμε τις αρμόδιες αρχές. Τα δέντρα που έχουν επηρεαστεί σοβαρά πρέπει άμεσα να καταστραφούν. Όσον αφορά τα υπόλοιπα δέντρα στην περιοχή μπορούν να ψεκαστούν και έτσι οι παγίδες φερορμονών θα μπορούν να συλλάβουν τους ρυγχωτούς κανθάρους.

Όπως μπορείτε να δείτε είναι ένα μεγάλο έντομο με ισχυρά φτερά που του δίνουν την δυνατότητα να διανύει αποστάσεις.

Η Rosemary και εγώ ήρθαμε σε επαφή με την Κάλλια Πεδιαδίτη στο ΜΑΙΧ - το Μεσογειακό Αγρονομικό Ινστιτούτο Χανίων – η οποία έχει κάνει μια περιεκτική μελέτη πάνω στον κρητικό φοίνικα, παίρνοντας έτσι συμβουλές για τους τρόπους που ο σύλλογός μας «Flowers of Crete » μπορεί να βοηθήσει ώστε να διαδώσει τις απαιτούμενες πληροφορίες. Το τοπικό συμβούλιο της Ελούντας είναι επίσης ενημερωμένο γύρω από αυτήν την κατάσταση και θα ληφθούν μέτρα για την αντιμετώπισή της.

The Daffodil Principle

This was sent to me by Sharon Collins in Canada - and I felt it was worth posting here -

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother... you must come to see the daffodils before they are over."

I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead "I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

"Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around."

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, " Daffodil Garden ." We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swir led and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline.. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world .

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.

She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....

Until your car or home is paid off

Thursday 12 November 2009

Curry Night at Limnes

We are holding a Curry Night at Limnes on 20th November. Tickets for the meal are 10 euros each - bring a bottle. Numbers are limited so please let Julia or one of the committee know in plenty of time if you want to come along.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Red Palm Weevil

We now have up to date information on how to protect healthy palms and what to do with infected palms. If you need advice please let us know.

Next Bazaar

The next fund raising bazaar for Flowers of Crete will be held as usual at Cindy's Bar in Aghios Nikolaos on Sunday 15th November from 10.00 - 1.00. Please come along and support us. Lots of cheap books, as well as home baking, preserves, etc. Good quality second hand clothes, bric-a-brac and much more.

Friday 6 November 2009

Prevention and Protection

Methods of Control

Plant Quarantine:

The transport of offshoots as planting material from infested areas can contribute to the spread of the pest. Strict quarantine at international and national levels should be applied.

Cultural Control:

Field sanitation and cultural practices are one of the important components to prevent weevil infestation.

1- Clean the crown of palms periodically to prevent decaying of organic debris in leaf axils.

2- Avoid cuts and injuries.

3- When green leaves are cut, cut them at 120 cm away from the base.

4- Cutting of steps in palms for easy climbing is to be avoided, as this provides sites for egg laying by weevils.

5- As palms affected by leaf rot and bud rot diseases are more prone to weevil infestation, they are to be treated with suitable fungicides; after that, application of any insecticide to prevent egg laying by weevils is essential.

6- Destroy all dead palms harboring the pest by cutting and burning.

Mechanical Control:

Dead palms or palms beyond recovery are to be split open, exposing the different stages of the pest present inside and the debris, including the out logs and crowns, are to be burned.

Trapping the Weevils:

Trapping the weevils and destroying them is another method by which weevil populations can be brought down.

Biological Control:

No effective biological agent, which can be employed for the biological control of the pest has been found..

Chemical Control:

A- Preventive.

B- Curative.

Training and Education:

In order to successfully implement weevil management the cooperation of the public is essential. For any large scale pest management program to succeed, it is imperative that the public cooperate and involve themselves at the operational level. This can be achieved by making the population aware of the seriousness of the problem and training him in various IPM skills.

The only effective control is to cut down all infested palms and destroy them at an early stage so the nests of larvae cannot hatch and repopulate an area. The trunk of the palm needs to be split open and all stages destroyed. Burning the head does not kill the stages in the middle of the trunk. Thus, the whole trunk should be chopped and burned.

Adapted from the website

Thursday 5 November 2009

Red Palm Weevil

We have now informed the town council of Elounda of the appearance of the weevil and also have taken advice on what to do from Kallia Pediaditis at MAICH in Hania. Apparently the weevil is destroying the palms along the coast from Heraklion to Milatos and has now also been found in Aghios Nikolaos.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Red Palm Weevil

Very worryingly, Rosemary and I have found a male Red Palm Weevil - fortunately dead - in Elounda. This is the beetle that is killing the date palms on the island and the one that it is vital doesn't get to Vai. If I could post a photo here I would, but there will be a photo in this months newsletter. Please look at it and remember it, in case you come across one somewhere. An infestation means certain death for the palm.

Friday 30 October 2009


For some reason I can't seem to post a photo anymore on the blog. Does anyone know what is wrong?

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Cretan Date Palm

I received have received a photo of a dead palm from John Fielding. This image was taken in Italy and shows the devastation that is caused by the Palm Beetle. Fortunately, as far as we know, the beetle isn't here yet, but with the import of foreign palms, there is a distinct possibility that it will arrive here sooner or later. We are proposing that there be an exclusion zone around the areas of P. theophrasti at Vai and Preveli to prevent this and the possibility of hybridisation. Pressure needs to be put on hotels and developers to stop this happening.

Monday 26 October 2009

September newsletter

I have just sent out the new improved newsletter for September. If you would like to receive an e-copy and haven't done so, please let me know and I will add you to our mailing list. Julia

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Flowers of Crete Calendar

I am working on the Flowers of Crete calendar for 2010 at the moment and we are now taking orders. The subject will be the Endemic Flowers of Crete and you can see a sample of the cover here. Unfortunately, because of spoof orders last time we printed our calendar, we have to ask for pre-paid orders only. The price of the calendar will be 10 euros plus post and packing if required, but supporters in Crete can pick up their copies from Committee members or at our Christmas bazaar.

Thursday 15 October 2009


There will be a Bazaar for Flowers of Crete at Cindy's Bar on Sunday 18th October at 10.00 a.m. to 1.00p.m. Please come along and support us. There will be home baking, produce, books, dvds and bric-a-brac. We still need donations of items for sale so if you have anything to offer please get in touch with a member of the Committee.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Bazaar at Cindy's

There will be another Bazaar to raise funds for Flowers of Crete on Sunday 13th September at Cindy's Bar in Aghios Nikolaos near Pelagos Restaurant from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. There will be plenty of books, home made produce - lots of spicy chutney, cakes, scones, etc. as well as bric-a-brac, DVDs, Flowers of Crete pens and T-shirts, and lots more. If you have anything you can contribute or can help out on the day, please get in touch with me, Julia Jones, or one of the other committee members.

Thursday 23 July 2009

Meal on Saturday

A table has been booked for Saturday night after Dr Moody's talk at Gargadoras Taverna by the beach for 9.00 p.m. I have to confirm final numbers for the meal tomorrow night, so if you want to come along and haven't let me know, please can you do so asap. The slideshow and talk will be very well attended and the meal will give people a chance to meet Dr Moody and enjoy a very pleasant evening.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Catching up

I have been sadly remiss in not getting on with the newsletter and updating the website in the last few months. Ill health and pressure of other work is to blame, but I am now looking through the vast numbers of photos I have taken since March in the hope that I will actually get some work done. One particular photo that reminded me of a brilliant day out was this one of Rosemary and Nick Turland botanising on Psiloritis in June. We had a terrific time with Nick and Chris and I was thrilled to find Viola fragrans for the first time on this trip.

Bazaar at Cindy's

The bazaar at Cindy's Bar was a great success and helped raised much need funds for Flowers of Crete. The next event is Dr Jennifer Moody's talk at BioAroma on Saturday. We are taking a break in August and ur next event will be another bazaar in September. We are in need of good quality bric-a-brac to sell please and would be grateful if anyone with anything to donate could get in touch with one of the committee members before the middle of September.

Monday 6 July 2009

Bazaar at Cindy's Bar, Aghios Nikolaos

There will be a bazaar for Flowers of Crete at Cindy's Bar 10.00 - 1.00 pm on Sunday 19th July. Loads of books, home baking, DVDs and videos and bric a brac. Please come along and support our cause. The sylogos papers are now completed (at last) and ready to go to court for a hearing date.

Saturday 4 July 2009

Another of my Watercolours

This time an endemic ophrys which grows not too far from Pano Elounda on the mountains around Thripti.

Thursday 2 July 2009

Little frog

Have done a Google search and it could be a young Pelophylax cretensis - endemic water frog from Crete. Any help on identification would be welcome.

Collecting Campanula spatulata

I was asked to collect some leaves of C. spatulata for a professor at the University of Florida. Steve Lenton kindly showed me where there were still some in flower on the Katharo and the dried leaves are now on their way. While we were there, we found several small pools of water left in the almost dry river bed. These pools were full of tadpoles, some of which had still not developed legs and seem doomed to die in the scorching heat. However, the whole area was alive with tiny toads or frogs (no idea which) and I managed to get this photo of one that had just left the water. It looks quite menacing as it is totally black and I would be very interested to know what species it is.

Dr Jennifer Moody's talk

Posters are going out now for Dr Moody's talk on the climate changes in Crete over the centuries and there is a lot of interest. I am arranging a meal afterwards for people to meet Dr Moody and anyone who would like to attend is please asked to let me know, so that I can book a table (tables) at the restaurant.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Exhibition opening

The opening of the exhibition in Aghios Nikolaos went really well and I have to say, thanks to the help of Rosemary, Steve, Jane and Barbara it looked really lovely. There were loads of people there and the President of the Cultural Committee made some very nice comments about my work and the work of Flowers of Crete. The photographer from Anatoli was also very complimentary and took loads of photos, which I hope will be in the newspaper tomorrow. I obviously didn't get a chance to take any photos, but hope to publish some from Jane in a few days time.

I am really relieved that the exhibition is now up and running and I've got to know the two other artists exhibiting with me.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Exhibition - Precious Heritage

I am gearing up for the opening of my exhibition at the Art Gallery in Aghios Nikolaos a week on Friday. I am hoping to show some new images of wild flowers here and some new paintings and more modern pieces of work. Should be interesting! The opening ceremony will be at 8.00 p.m. on Friday 19th June and the exhibition will run until 28th June. If you are around, please come and join us on opening night.

Saturday 30 May 2009

One of my paintings

Hi Faith, here is one of my watercolour paintings of endemic Cretan plants - this one is the wild Cretan iris which grows all over the place in Spring and early summer. You should come over and see them sometime, they are stunning.

Jenny Moody's talk

We would really appreciate offers of prizes for the raffle on Saturday 25th June at BioAroma to help raise money for the work of Flowers of Crete. We rely on donations of prizes for the raffle, as the event is free as a way of raising public awareness of the need for conservation. A lot of work goes into organising and promoting these events and we have to use Flowers of Crete money to put these important slideshows and lectures on - money which could be used for the upkeep of the website and to pay for informational and education literature.

Stunning day on the Katharo

Rosemary John and I joined Steve Lenton for a day botanizing on the Katharo Plateau. It was absolutely wonderful. I have never seen the Katharo looking more beautiful. Everywhere was clothed with stunning flowers - gladiolus, poppies, daisies and the wonderful purple fumitory. Amongst all this abundance, we found a few very special flowers - thanks to Steve, whose knowledge of the area is amazing. There will be more news on Steve's and our 'finds' on the Flowers of Crete website in due course. In the meantime, enjoy this image.

Wednesday 27 May 2009


Is there anyone out there reading this? I feel that I am blogging away to thin air. Please lets have some feedback!

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Precious Heritage

I will be exhibiting my paintings, drawings, photography and textile work in the Municiple Art Gallery in Aghios Nikolaos from 19th to 28th June. There will be an opportunity to learn more about Flowers of Crete and to join our organisation. Please come along and take a look and say hello. With many thanks to PODAN who are organising this exhibition on my behalf. Julia

Soiree at Vrahassi

There will be another chance to show off your talents at the May Soiree, this Saturday, 30th May, starting at 8.00 at Jane's Revolution Bar in Vrahassi. It really is a great evening, with a lovely atmosphere and a variety of performances from classical music to Pam Ayres, stopping on the way to enjoy Greek prose, country music and German lieder. DO come along and join us. Raffle and donations to Flowers of Crete. Refreshments at the bar. If you would like your chance to perform, please contact Jane Sharp at Vrahassi.

Spring Fayre in Vrahassi

Despite the very warm day, the Spring Fayre was a great success and enjoyed by everyone. Many thanks to those who contributed to funds by hiring a table for the day and to everyone who worked so hard to raise funds for Flowers of Crete. The International and National profile of our organisation is rising at a terrific rate and there are more and more opportunities to promote the work of education and conservation needed to protect the endemic and endangered flowers here. This success is down to the hard work of everyone concerned.

Wild World Blogspot

In March, Rosemary and I went out with a Swedish photographer, Peter Lilja, who was here in Crete to take photos for National Geographic Magazine. He was in the area around Elounda for two days and we had a delightful time showing him some of the treasures of Lassithi. Here is a link to his blog. His images are great and the articles in National Geographic will be wonderful for promoting the flora of Crete. We hope to be able to feature some of Peter's images on our website in due course, once copyright issues have been cleared up.

Friday 22 May 2009

Fund raising

We have now ordered the GPS handheld unit for recording the location of endangered and rare flowers. Unfortunately, the unit we wanted has been discontinued. Thanks to Steve Lenton we have now sourced one in the UK and Rosemary ordered it yesterday. It has, of course, cost considerably more than we initially expected - another £90 and the contributions coming in for the yearly 4 euros subscription will hopefully help to offset this cost. The computer donated by Matthew Jones, although working when it left the UK, is not now - the computer cannot talk to the monitor. Steve has looked at this and thinks it is the graphics card, but could be the motherboard! Any advice and/or help with this problem would be most gratefully received.

Thursday 21 May 2009

Talk by Dr Jennifer Moody

Flowers of Crete is proud to announce that Dr. Jennifer Moody, Research Fellow of the University of Texas at Austin, and co-author of 'The Making of the Cretan Landscape' is to give a talk for us on 25th July at 6.00 p.m at BioAroma in Aghios Nikolaos. The talk and slideshow, entitled "Flood, Feast and Famine - adapting to climate change in ancient and historic Crete", is sure to be very interesting and informative and, as usual, entrance will be free. There will be a voluntary collection towards the work of Flowers of Crete. We are expecting a large turn-out for this event, so can you please register your interest by contacting Julia Jones - If there is sufficient interest, we will be organising a meal after the event to give people a chance to meet and talk to Dr Moody. Again, please let us know if you would like to attend the meal - more details on this will be posted on and shortly.

Thursday 7 May 2009

At the last Committee meeting, it was decided to ask supporters to donate 4 euros per year towards the work we are doing on Crete. The funds raised by this, will be used for printing, the production of various 'Flowers of Crete' merchandise and the day to day running of the organisation. Donations can be made in cash to members of the Committee or through PayPal. A facility for paying through PayPal has been set up on the Flowers of Crete website For supporters in the UK and in Greece we can also provide bank details for payment at Barclays Bank or Geniki Bank.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Sample of 2010 Calendar

Here is a sample page from the Endemic Flowers of Crete calendar for 2010. Further pages will be available shortly, as I assemble the most beautiful images of native flowers month by month.

Cavo Sidero

Dr Rosemary John and I are off to Palehora on Friday to meet with representatives from Minoan the developers for the much discussed development at Cavo Sidero. Although I have been to Vai several times, I have not been on to the peninsula and it should be a very interesting day. We are also hoping to meet with members of the local opposition to the proposed resort, so we will be reporting our findings back to the Committee in two weeks time when we have our next Committee meeting. We will then send out our observations to members in our monthly newsletter. If members have any questions that they feel should be put to Minoan please let us know.

Saturday 2 May 2009

My talk and slideshow

Although no-where near as high profile as Nick's talk in March, we are getting a good response to my talk on the Flowers of Lassithi Province, but are having difficulties coming up with a translator into Greek and someone who will provide a digital projector and sound. If anyone can help, please let us know. We are hoping to attract tourists to the event and would like it to be a success in spreading the word about the flowers here. We can, of course, pay for these services, but as we have very limited funds and the event is free, it defeats the object somewhat if we have to set aside precious funding. I will go and see Sakis at BioAroma this week and try to sort something out, in the meantime, if anyone can help, we would be most grateful. Julia

Thursday 30 April 2009

Flowers of Crete T shirts

I am in the process of designing a T shirt for supporters of Flowers of Crete. It will retail at around £9.00 plus postage and will feature line drawing of Crocus oreocreticus and the 'Flowers' logo. Anyone interested in ordering, please contact me directly. We are also designing a calendar for 2010 and will be taking pre-orders for this. Production will depend on the number of pre-orders we receive. Julia

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Cavo Sidero development

Just to confirm that Dr Rosemary John and I are going over to Cavo Sidero on the 8th May to meet with directors and experts from Minoan/Loyalward the company responsible for the proposed golf development on the cape. It should be an interesting day and we will report back to the Committee of Flowers of Crete and then to supporters worldwide.

Another item off the Wish List

Flowers of Crete would like to thank Heather and Charles Baily from the UK for their generous donation to provide us with a GPS system for identifying the position of important and endangered flowers that we find on our botanising trips. Heather is Rosemary John's sister and she and her husband are supporters of the work we are doing here. At the moment I am exploring the best system to use and Steve Lenton is advising me on how to proceed. Apparently we also could do with a copy of the Google Earth Software and this will replace the GPS system on the wish list. I think I will be on a steep learning curve and Rosemary and I will be using the system on our weekly visits to Pezoulia Reserve once we have cracked how to use it. The computer donated by my son in the UK will be arriving shortly, courtesy of William Rumbold and Liz Scott who are bringing it down with them when the drive down from London next week. This will be invaluable, as my old laptop is really beginning to struggle with the amount of work and images that are stored on it. I do have an external hard drive, but the size and number of images is becoming enormous. So a better laptop would be a wonderful addition to our work. Doesn't have to be new - just quicker than the one I am currently using - An Acer Aspire bought in the UK three years ago.

So to recap -

we have received a donation from Heather and Charles Baily to purchase a GPS system

but we would be eternally grateful for either of the following which are added to our Wish List

Google Earth Software - I think we may need the upgraded version, but would be grateful for info on this
Higher powered laptop

Once again, MANY, MANY thanks to Heather and Charles. The GPS will be invaluable for our work and we will make excellent use of your generous gift.


Great day on the Katharo

Rosemary and I went up to the Katharo yesterday, to photograph the peonies on the way up and then to meet Steve Lenton to do a bit of botanising. Steve took us to see Tulipa cretica and a wonderful meadow of fritillary and we introduced him to a new species of orchid for his catalogue. It was a wonderful day, most satisfying for all concerned and I thought I would share a few of my photos with you as a preview to the April calendar on Flowers of Crete website. Julia

Thursday 23 April 2009


Just in case you couldn't wait - here's the fritillary.

Flowers of Crete wish list!!

Following a trip out into the field with a professional photographer from Sweden, the Flowers of Crete wish list has expanded somewhat. It now includes

a macro lens for Nikon camera (carried over from previous wish list :-) )
a portable reflector
a GPS system for plotting the location of particular flowers - Rosemary and I found a fabulous orchid on Katharo today, but I doubt whether we will ever be able to find its location again!!!
a digital projector
inks for printer

With Rosemary holding the reflector I got a really good image of a fritillary last week. It will be online in the FoC calendar for April, once I have finished writing everything up. It's been a busy month.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Bazaar in Neapoli

Out first bazaar in Neapoli was a great success and the Committee of Flowers of Crete would like to thank everyone concerned who helped with this fund raising event. We would particularly like to thank Anna Kosmadaki of the Centre for Foreign Languages for her generous hospitality in allowing us to use the centre. It was a lovely location and we hope to be able to hold another bazaar there at some point during the summer.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Conference for the Environment and Art Competition

Here is advance notice of a conference to be held at the Greek Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari next May. It is hoped that Flowers of Crete will be organising an International Art Exhibition for the environment to run alongside the conference and also a concert of music and dance for the closing Gala night. Further information can be obtained from Julia Jones or from the website

Friday 10 April 2009

Cavo Sidero Development

I have just heard that the Committee ruling on Cavo Sidero has ruled against the development. This information has yet to be confirmed, but Minoan shares have fallen to 10p - their lowest figure yet.

Bazaar in Neapoli

Just to let everyone know that the time for the bazaar on Sunday will be from 10.00 - 12.00 and not 2,00 as previously posted. Julia

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Cavo Sidero Development

The President and Committee of Flowers of Crete has been invited to meet with a Director and experts from Minoan and Loyalward at Cavo Sidero to see for themselves the proposed development. The meeting will take place on 8th May and will be an interesting experience, allowing members of Flowers of Crete to decide for themselves the sustainability of such a huge development in such an environmentally sensitive area.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Bazaar in Neapoli

Please come along to the first Flowers of Crete Bazaar in Neapoli at the School for Foreign Languages at 10.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. on Sunday 12th April. Lots of books, DVDs, home baking, and bric-a-brac. We hope to see you there!

Sunday 29 March 2009

Soiree at Vrahassi

Once again, a superb and entertaining evening at Jane's Revolution Bar in Vrahassi. Many, many thanks to Jane and David for hosting the event, and to everyone who took part. We observed the Earth Hour, with readings of poetry and prose by candlelight. The next soiree will take place on the last Saturday in April - 25th at 7.30 for 8.00.

Flowers of Lassithi

Following the success of Nick Turland's talk at BioAroma, I have been asked to give a talk and slideshow on the Flowers of Lassithi on Saturday, 18th May at 6.00 p.m. The talk will once again be at BioAroma and we would ask you to register your interest if you would like to attend. This will give us some idea of numbers for seating and catering. The slideshow will focus on the flowers in the Lassithi area and elsewhere that we are all able to see and appreciate.

Saturday 28 March 2009

Soiree at Vrahassi and Earth Hour

We will be honouring Earth Hour tonight at Vrahassi by switching off all the lights, as we sing-a-long to some old favourites with Wolfgang and co. Should be great fun.

Starts at 7.30 - 8.00 p.m. but come early if you would like a seat.

Cretan violet

Thanks to Steve Lenton I found my first Cretan violet on Thursday on the Katharo. Absolutely wonderful! Thanks Steve - photos will be online soon and on the blog once I can find a minute to post.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Nick Turland's talk

The event was extremely well attended by around 150 people of all ages. There were a large number of Greeks and, of course, an equally large number of ex-pats. Sakis and his wife made us very welcome and provided wonderful refreshments after the talk. Nick's talk showed us extremely rare flowers from Crete - mostly high mountain plants, which few of us are ever likely to have seen. My particular favourite is the endemic Clematis elizabetha- carolae which grows in an extremely harsh environment. Many of us were amazed to see the beautiful fields of Tulipa doerfleri and we have decided to make a trip over to Rethymnon shortly to see them for ourselves. In the next few days, the Committee of Flowers of Crete will be looking at ways to improve the running of these events - the next one is scheduled for July and to find ways to encourage people to 'sign up' as supporters. I was asked if I would do a talk on the orchids of Crete and a date needs to be set for that. I would like to thank all the members of the Committee for their help in organising and carrying out last nights event. It was a huge undertaking and I couldn't possibly have done it on my own. Thanks also to everyone who donated a prize for the raffle - the amount raised will be published shortly. And, of course, a huge thank you to Nick for giving us his valuable time. We had a great day out in the field with him during the day and his help and advice at Pezoulia has been invaluable. Also many thanks to Babis for stepping into the breach to translate at short notice, which he did most excellently and to Yiorgos from 104.4fm Radio for operating the projector and laptop - a technical job which always worries me enormously.

Friday 20 March 2009

Visit to Cavo Sidero

The members of the Committee of Flowers of Crete have been invited to meet the experts and some board members of Loyalward and the Minoan Group to see for themselves the extent of the development at Cavo Sidero and to consider the impact on the environment of this scheme. We will be spending two days 8th/9th May there and will then be in a position to report our concerns and impressions to our membership.

Wednesday 18 March 2009


A friend of mine, Anamarija Partl, a lichenologist from Zagreb, Croatia, is staying with me for two weeks and it is hoped that she will accompany us to Pezoulia next week to identify some of the lichen for our species list. If you haven't already seen it, it is now online at and it will be updated on a monthly basis as we identify new species on the land.

Monday 16 March 2009


Dr Rosemary John and I are off to join Jane Sharp at Vrahassi this morning for a walk to the Flowers of Crete Nature Reserve. Last week many orchids were starting to appear, so we are looking forward to an exciting day, seeing just what species are there. Next week Anamarija Partl will be joining us. She is a botanist from Zagreb with a special interest in lichen and we are hoping that she will identify the various varities we have already spotted. On Saturday 21st March, Nick Turland and his assistant Babis (a student at Patras University) will be accompanying us to the land to help with identification for the species list.

We have also been offered two pieces of land by a neighbouring dimos to be used as nature reserves and once we have any firm committment on this, we will post more information.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Press write-up

To see a report of the Press Conference (in Greek) that was held on Friday evening and a photo of some of those concerned, please visit

Nick Turland's talk

Following the press conference on Friday night, it has been decided to bring the opening time of BioAroma forward to 6.00, to allow visitors to look around the new botanic garden and museum and to look at the essential oils shop, Julia's artwork and to pre-order Nick's book, sign the Sylogos papers and to find out more about Flowers of Crete. Those people who have reserved a place, please arrive early to ensure that you have a seat. The talk is being extensively advertised on radio and in the newspapers, so we are expecting a large turn-out.

Saturday 14 March 2009

Bazaar in Neapoli

The Flowers of Crete Bazaar in Neapoli will take place from 10.00 to 2.00 on Sunday, 12th April at the Centre for Foreign Languages, Therisou 19. Please give us your support. Lots of lovely things to eat, books, DVDs, bric-a-brac, clothes, and household items.

Report from Press Conference

Yiorgos Toutodakis of 104.4fm RADIO has put a report and photo from the Press Conference last night on the website He is going to mention Nick's talk on air every day next week in the run up to the 21st March. Also Leon from Anatoli is going to write about the work of Flowers of Crete and Nick's talk. Several reporters from Heraklion telephoned to say that they were unable to attend the press conference, but they wanted to write about the work we are doing in Flowers of Crete. We are very grateful to Sakis and his wife for being such generous hosts and supporters and also Popi for her help in arranging the press conference.

Friday 13 March 2009

Press conference in Aghios

The press conference proved to be a success, with an interview with Anatoli and with local radio and several enquiries from newspapers and magazines in Heraklion. It had not previously been understood that this is the only talk Nick Turland is giving while he is in Crete, and the importance of this event cannot be overstated. It was decided, that in order to fit everything in to the evening, we should bring the start time forward to 6.00 p.m. This would enable visitors to have a look around the botanic garden being set up at BioAroma and to talk to Sakis about the essential oils distillery and the museum of Cretan life. Nick's talk will then follow with translation into Greek and a chance to have a social exchange with refreshments kindly provided by Sakis and his wife. We cannot thank Sakis enough for his sponsorship of Flowers of Crete and his generosity in allowing us to hold such events at his premises.

Bazaar in Neapoli

Items for the Bazaar to be held in Neapoli on 12th April are now coming in and we would like to thank everyone who has donated so far. If you have items you would like to offer us, please contact Julia Jones, Barbara May or Chris Woolfenden to arrange delivery or collection.

Press conference

There will be a press conference for Nick Turland's talk tonight at BioAroma. It is hoped that this event will generate a lot of positive interest in the work of Flowers of Crete. It is becoming essential that we attract financial sponsorship, in order that we can continue the work we have begun and to enable set aside and nature reserves to be established all over the island. There is expected to be a large turn-out for what promises to be a wonderful evening. The books ordered for signing have now been sold, but there will be an opportunity to order and pre-pay for a copy on the evening. Delivery time is around 3-5 days, as the books are being sent from the UK.

Monday 2 March 2009

Flowers of Crete by Nick Turland and John Fielding

I am about to order books for signing by Nick Turland. The cost of each book, including post and packing, will be 65 euros. I can only order books for this event that have been pre-ordered and paid for, so, if you want to receive a copy, please let me know as soon as possible.

Friday 27 February 2009

Flowers of Crete by Nick Turland and John Fielding

I am about to order copies of the above book for signing at Nick Turland's talk on Saturday, 21st March. The cost per copy of this book will be 65 euros, which includes post and packing. This seems a lot, but for anyone interested in the flora of Crete it is invaluable and a must have! I can only buy in pre-ordered and paid for books, so can anyone who want a copy to get signed by Nick, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. Books can also be ordered and paid for on the night, but these, of course, will not be signed.

FoC Bazaar in Neapoli

The date and venue for the Bazaar in April is yet to be confirmed, but please offer your support by donating items for sale. We are also hoping for a good 'bakes and preserves' table, so if you feel you can contribute, please get in touch with a member of the Committee and let them know.

Julia Jones
Chris Wolfenden
Jane Sharp
Barbara May
Rosemary John

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Rare flower out now!

Nick Turland, co-author of 'Flowers of Crete' has asked if we can look out for a very rare flower which is in bloom now and can be found 'somewhere between Pano Pines and Kastelli'. It grows on cultivated land and continues to flower for some years after fields have been left fallow. To see the plant and, hopefully, recognise it, please go to Nick's flickr site.

The plant is called Bongardia and hasn't been seen since Lance Chiltern saw it seven years ago.

If you are in the area and fancy a 'treasure hunt' please look for it and send me a photo if you are lucky enough to find it.

Making of the Cretan Landscape

Jennifer Moody,co- author of the wonderful and informative 'Making of the Cretan Landscape' has generously offered to give a talk to us in Aghios Nikolaos. The provisional date for this talk is 21st July, 2009. More details later, please check back to find out more.

Saturday 21 February 2009

Bazaar in Neapoli

We are holding a fund raising bazaar in Neapoli on 12th April - venue to be announced shortly - and are putting out a call for items to sell. There will be the usual books, CDs, DVDs, produce and bric-a-brac. If you have anything you would like to donate or can help on the day, contact Julia or Barbara May. We really need to get some new leaflets printed in time for the tourist season, so please help us if you can.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Meeting last night

We had an excellent meeting at BioAroma last night, with an attendance of 13 people. Great for a cold, February night. Sakis made us very welcome and everyone was enchanted by the museum and shop. We managed to get through all the business in good time and we were treated to a delicious slice of home made cake and a cup of herbal tea. Anyone who hasn't visited BioAroma has missed a charming and interesting experience. Chris Woolfenden is writing up the Minutes of the Meeting and an outline of these will be on the Blog shortly. If you would like to receive a full copy and our monthly newsletter, please send me (Julia) your e-mail address and we will add your name to the mailing list.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Monday visit to Pezoulia Nature Reserve

It was pouring with rain yesterday when Rosemary John and I went up to Vrahassi to visit the reserve with the intention of working on the species list. During a dry spell we decided to venture out, but when we reached the site it was pouring again. Not having waterproofs, I opted to stay in the car, whilst the other two brave warriors went out into the storm to check on our prized Twayblade. It still looks like a Twayblade and we are almost 100% sure that it is, but there is still the lurking possibility that it is something else. This little orchid won't be in flower until April, so excitement is mounting. Check back regularly to see how it is growing! I admit it doesn't look like much now!

Flowers of Crete Meeting Tomorrow - Agenda

Tomorrow's meeting will discuss the following topics (amongst others) :

Art Competition
Flowers of Crete products
Calendar of Events for next 6 months
Nature Reserve at Pezoulia
Nature Reserve at Houmeriakos
Documentary on Cavo Sidero
New Blog
Environmental week in Aghios Nikolaos
Boat for Nick Turland - any contacts

There is a lot going on and plenty to talk about, so please come along and offer your support if you are in the area.

Monday 16 February 2009

Soiree at Vrahassi 28th February

Following the success of the first 'International' Soiree of Poetry and Music at the Revolution Bar in Vrahassi, we would like to invite you to participate in the next event which will take place at 7.30 p.m. onwards on Saturday 28th February. The first soiree was a 'knock out' with a succession of excellent offerings from ex-pats and Cretans. Items ranged from classical music to a group rendering of On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat, through solo performances of poetry, country music and prose. The second event promises to be just as entertaining, so come early to get yourself a seat. There will be an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for the Grand Draw and a voluntary collection for the work of Flowers of Crete. Entrance is free, drinks at the bar. Don't miss out on a good old-fashioned evening's entertainment. More details from me, Julia Jones, or from Jane Sharp at Vrahassi.

Saturday 14 February 2009

New Prize in the Draw

Margaret Radcliffe of has kindly offered a 'reiki' session or a guided meditation session as one of the prizes in the Grand Draw. We are really grateful to everyone who has offered to donate a prize to this event, which is being held to raise money for Flowers of Crete and the new nature reserve Pezoulia at Vrahassi. The Draw will take place after Nick Turland's talk and slideshow at BioAroma in Aghios Nikolaos on Saturday 21st March. Thank you Margaret!

Friday 13 February 2009

How to find BioAroma, Aghios Nikolaos

Here is a map of how to find BioAroma. It is on the old road that runs parallel to the main road, and is in front of Alfalumin and not far from the garden centre. There are signs to show the way on the main road, but you need to look out carefully for them.

Thursday 12 February 2009

Meeting in Aghios Nikolaos

There will be a meeting to discuss Flowers of Crete and matters arising at BioAroma, Aghios Nikolas at 7.30 p.m on Wednesday, 18th February. There also be a chance to look around the essential oils distillery and to visit the lovely little Cretan life museum. Much is happening at the moment and this will be a chance to get together and talk about various ideas, including the new nature reserve at Vrahassi. Please come along and join us.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Barlia robertiana

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Flowers of Crete Monthly Newsletter

If you would like to register to receive the Flowers of Crete monthly newsletter, either by e-mail or hard copy, please send your details to E-mail copies are sent free of charge, but a yearly subscription of 20 euros to cover costs is required for hardcopies sent by regular mail. This newsletter will keep you up-to-date with developments on Crete and also shows a selection of images of native plants and flowers, together with a short description. Hardcopies can also be obtained from members of the Committee of Flowers of Crete at a cost of 1 euro per issue.

Tuesday 10 February 2009

February flowers

Examples of flowers in bloom in February. For more images on our Flower Calendar, please visit

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Talk by Nick Turland on the Endangered Wildflowers of Crete

There will be a talk in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, on Saturday, 21st March at BioAroma by the botanist and expert on Cretan wild flowers, Nicholaos Turland. Entrance to the talk will be free, but there will be a collection towards the costs of forming a Sylogos for Flowers of Crete and printing costs for leaflets, etc. The talk will commence at 7.30 p.m. and the evening will also include a tour around the essential oils distillery and small folklore museum. If you are interested in obtaining a ticket, please e-mail

Fundraising Prize Draw

Flowers of Crete

Raffle to raise funds primarily for fencing of the new nature reserve 'Pezoulia' at Vrahassi -
to be drawn at BioAroma on Saturday, 21st March. Any remaining funds will be used to promote the Sylogos and the new nature reserve.

1st Star Prize: A week-end skippered cruise for six people out of Heraklion on a luxury yacht – to be taken the first suitable and available week-end after the draw of the raffle. Courtesy of Yiorgos Nicolaides of Crete-Sailing –

Further prizes:

A walk for six people from Vrahassi to visit the nature reserve and to see the orchids. Courtesy of Jane and David Sharp, Revolution Bar, Vrahassi

An original watercolour painting by Flowers of Crete founder Julia Jones of Crocus oreocreticus – symbol of the organisation

A meal for two people at Lotus Eaters Restaurant, Elounda, courtesy of Mike and Christine Tolfree

A framed line drawing by artist Jane Vogas

Six prizes of hand-embroidered Flower book marks