Sunday 5 December 2010

Exhibition at Kolymbari June 2011

There will be an exhibition of work for the environment entitled 'Rare and Beautiful Plants' to be held in conjunction with the International ECOTHEE conference at The Orthodox Academy of Crete at Kolymbari. Anyone interested in submitting work should please get in touch with Flowers of Crete or the Academy for more information.

Cavo Sidero

On 4th December the Greek courts ruled that the Minoan/Loyalward development of a golf resort on this area of special scientific interest was illegal. We understand that the company is launching yet another attempt to get amended plans passed and, although this has been a victory for campaigners, it is not yet time to rest on our laurels. There are also rumours of developments at such important sites as Elafonisi.

Date for Court Hearing

Owing to industrial action by lawyers here on Crete, the date of the court hearing for the granting of our syllogos has been postponed. As soon as we have a new date I will post it.

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Date for Court Hearing - Syllogos

The date for the court hearing for the granting of charitable status for Flowers of Crete has been set for 1st December, 2010.

Talk by John Fielding

There will be a talk and slide show entitled 'Plants for a Mediterranean Climate' by co-author of the wonderful book Flowers of Crete - John Fielding at BioAroma in Aghios Nikolaos on Monday 25th October - time to be arranged. To register your place at the talk (which is sure to be well attended) please get in touch with

Friday 20 August 2010

Red Palm Weevil

There are absolutely loads of weevils flying in and around Elounda at the moment. I have just sweep four up from my courtyard. This is really scarey. And apparently Cretans are being led to believe that the weevil will not attack the native Palm, P. theophrasti - this is NOT true. It will also attack banana palms too.

Friday 2 July 2010

Spring Flowers Finding Trip 2011

The dates for the Spring Flower and Orchid Finding trip are Tuesday 24th to 31st March - tour of the west of the island from Elafonisi to Rouvas. Dates for the second week Tuesday 31st March to Tuesday 5th April, the east of the island, taking in Katharo Plateau and Thripti mountains with a feast of orchids. Bookings are now being taken. Places are strictly limited, so if you are interested please book early.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Limodorum abortivum

I am hoping to go to the south of Heraklion area in the next few days to photograph this beautiful orchid, which I have so far seen only in bud. If I am really lucky I might also find Cephelantera cucullata one of Crete's rarest endemic orchids. Rosemary and I saw one specimen last year, but the wind was so strong my photos didn't do it justice. If I find any I will post the photos here. Today I am working on my commission for Heather to paint Bituminaria bitunminosa - not easy as the flowers are so small, but I have finished the preliminary drawings and will start on the layout today.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

New nesletter

I am working on the Flowers of Crete newsletter - very belated I'm afraid - but if you have any articles you can contribute, please let me know.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

My Artwork

I have just started a new blog for my artwork - if you would like to take a look.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Palm Weevil

This morning (Sunday) I have killed two palms weevils at the house in Pano Elounda. Unless something is done immediately, we stand no chance of saving the Palms at Vai.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Cretan Date Palm

It is with much regret I have to report that according to MAICH in Chania, the Red Palm Weevil is infecting some of the Palms at Preveli. I saw no sign of the weevil when I was there a couple of weeks ago, but then I didn't examine every palm. I spoke with the owners of several tavernas near the palm beach and they knew nothing about the threat to their palms or their livelihoods. MAICH is apparently 'monitoring' the situation but we have no information as to what this entails. I have killed three weevils at the house in Pano Elounda over the last few weeks and I am appalled at its spread. It will not be long before it reaches VAI. Rosemary and I have tried all avenues to get some co-ordinated help to deal with the problem, but so far each dimos seems to be doing its own thing. We have tried to make an appointment with the head of the province of Lassithi but without success. We really don't know what we can do to make a difference.

Monday 10 May 2010

Conference on Biodiversity in Kolymbari

Rosemary and I returned last night exhausted but very heartened by the response we received at the Conference from botanists and scientists from around the world. I will be posting much more about the conference shortly, but in the meantime I will post some photos of the devastation being wrought at Afrata - a site world famous for its cyclamen meadows. Despite efforts by Flowers of Crete to find some funding to buy a piece of land there, the diggers have now moved in and soon there will be little, if anything left. Once Rosemary and I have discussed the Conference and all its implications, I will be posting reports on the various topics and also some wonderful images of Greek Red List species that we were lucky enough to see over the course of the week,

Monday 26 April 2010

Flowers of Crete - The Artists' View

A chance for artists and the general public to visit the Greek Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari and to view the exhibition of art and photography which is being held in conjunction with the International Exhibition on Biodiversity being organised by PlantaEuropa and the Academy. There will also be a chance to visit the newly inaugurated botanic garden and the Museum of Cretan Flora.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Red Palm Weevil

My cat found a red palm weevil on the kitchen floor this morning in Pano Elounda. Very worrying, as the warm weather is obviously allowing them to fly earlier than expected.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Palms at Preveli

Thanks to someone living near Preveli we have established that the palms there are still in good condition. They will be monitored to ensure that they do not start to show signs of attack by the weevil. Good news so far!

Wednesday 13 January 2010

More info

Entries for the exhibition should be notified to by the 1st March 2010. Hanging will be 2nd and 3rd May with the exhibition running from 4th to 8th May. The cost of entering is 20 euros per work with a commission fee of 10% on any item sold. This money will go towards the work of Flowers of Crete and the cost of mounting the exhibition. Works can be in any medium except photography, which is the subject of a separate competition entitled The Flowers and Funghi of Europe. Works should be no large than 1 metre by 1.5 metres. Photos of the work should be submitted with the application to me - Please contact me if you need any further information.

Flowers of Crete Art Exhibition

The exhibition will be held in the Exhibition Area at the Greek Orthodox Academy at Kolymbari. The work can be in any medium except photography, which is subject to a separate competition entitled The Flowers and Funghi of Europe. The title of the art exhibition is The Flowers of Crete.

The exhibition and photographic competition display will be open to those attending the Conference - mainly botanists and scientists from around the world, and also to the general public. Any artist wishing to attend the exhibition and would like to stay at the Academy, can book a room. Prices start at around 55 euros a night, but accommodation will be limited as delegates to the conference will also be needing accommodation.

Thank you so much for your help. The conference is being held under the auspices of the international organisation PlantaEuropa and it is the very first time that art has been incorporated in a scientific conference in this way. Flowers of Crete has arranged these events as a way of involving the public and it would be wonderful to make it a great success. It will also provide a great showcase for the artists of Crete and give an opportunity for us to show our commitment to the environment of Crete.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Translation from Patris on Cretan Palm

In a meeting on Vai
After the discovery of the "P" for the disaster - the initiative of Secretary of State Michael. Karchimaki

On the issue of measures to preserve the palm forest at Vai and other clusters of palm trees in Crete by the beetle, intervened yesterday by Secretary for Rural Development Michael Karchimakis. In a letter to the Secretary General of the Region of Crete Thanasis Karountzo Mr Karchimakis proposes to convene immediately a meeting involving all the co-authorities and agencies to start now coordinated efforts to save the palm of Crete. In his letter Mr. Karchimaki to Mr Karountzo stated:

"Over the last four years Crete faces a serious problem for the invasion of the insect Rynchoforos, which spread rapidly from area to area destroying palm trees.

The bug is based on both plant health legislation of the European Union, as Ms. corresponding Greek designated insect quarantine and requires immediate remedy it.

Unfortunately, all these years, the measures taken were insufficient, resulting in the destruction of the palm to spread rapidly and now threaten to contamination in integrated network NATURA, Vai palm.

The fact that the palm trees on Crete are an integral part of the aesthetic and a major investment, and adorn the public parks, beaches, homes and hotels on the island. In addition, the Palm Vai is a tourist destination unparalleled beauty of Crete and rare environmental value for the planet.

We therefore directly and closely all stakeholders to look at the problem, giving a final solution to the gradual destruction of these historic trees. So he finds it necessary to ask you to arrange a joint meeting of the Region of Crete on the treatment of aggressive insect Rynchoforos and protection of the Palm Beach Vai in Lasithi, and any other native palm island.

Given your sensitivity to environmental issues and cultural history of Crete, thank you in advance for your cooperation and look forward to your reply.

Geotechnical Chamber of Intervention

Meanwhile, the issue involved and the Crete Branch of the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece. As announced yesterday, the last meeting of the Steering Committee Annex "approved the proposal drafted by a group of members of the Geotechnical Chamber and decided the proposal be forwarded directly to the political leadership of the Ministries of Rural Development and Environment, the Secretary General of the Region of Crete and 4 prefects of the island. In the Prefect Prefect and the Chamber will seek a special meeting to inform them in more detail on the proposal submitted.