My Garden on the Island of Crete

23 Jun

When we first moved from England to come and live on this lovely Island of Crete I was not too concerned about having a garden. This was because previously we had large gardens which entailed lots of work and mowing of lawns. So the first house we purchased here in Crete had no garden but a very nice, but small courtyard  where I could just grow flowers in pots. After all we were retired, and thought the less work we had to do the better so that we would have plenty of time to explore the island and enjoy ourselves. This of course is what we did for about two years. However, as time went on I found I was beginning to miss having a garden. I also missed having a pet around the house so decided I would have a pet dog, another excuse for a garden for him/she to roam around with some freedom.

It is unusual to find a house with a garden in a village, because most of the villagers have separate plots of land where they grow their vegetables as well as olive trees. However, we finally found this house we call ” ExLibris ” because it was once an old library as well as a taverna at some stage way back in time. So it has quite a bit of history attached to it. Yes it has a garden, well  it is a garden now but when we first purchased the place it was just a plot of ground with nothing but weeds. It had been empty for 30 years so of course it had to be renovated which took around 4-5 months to complete. In between time we had a rescue dog which had been found on one of the mountains just abandoned with three other puppies, and I mean newly born puppies. It was my friend who, while walking her dog found them,she reared them for 12 weeks after which I had Ben who I am sad to say we lost only last year. I like to think he was happy with us, we had lots of fun together and we miss him very much.


Ben age about four years old.

ENJOY a walk with me around our garden in Crete.

2007-09-20 06.22.45

2007-09-20 06.23.01

This is my favourite place where I can sit and read as well as listen to the Canaries singing in the aviary. Notice Bens basket under the swing because I still can’t bring myself to part with it.

2007-09-20 06.17.56

John’s  Aviary. The garden swing is through the path to the left .

2007-09-12 23.25.52

Here are some baby finches born this year.

2007-09-12 23.24.12

Budgerigars choosing their nesting boxes.  They do have their favourite places.

2007-09-20 20.22.48

Balcony overlooking the garden. You can see how high our lovely Acacia trees have grown which are wonderful for the shade.

2007-09-15 19.58.44

And these are the beautiful pink and white pom-pom type  flowers which give off a wonderful fragrance especially during the evening.

2007-09-20 06.16.56

Aviary door open for fresh air in the aviary. There is also a fan inside to keep the birds cool during the hot summer months.

2007-09-20 20.24.28

And lastly you can just see the sea from the balcony from which there is a cool breeze most days.



Posted by on June 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


16 responses to “My Garden on the Island of Crete

  1. Ancientfoods

    June 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Such a beautiful garden, and so inviting. I can imagine going out and sitting having tea or coffee. I’m envious of your Acacia Trees, sacred in Ancient Egypt, they are beautiful. Maybe you can tell I do not have a garden of my own. Thanks for sharing.


    • ritaroberts

      June 25, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Hi Joanna, Thanks for your nice comments. I did not know the Acacia tree was sacred to Egypt. Its the Elbiza variety I think its the Silk tree. Anyway they are the pride of our garden. Do you grow plants in pots then Joanna. ?


      • Ancientfoods

        June 26, 2015 at 9:43 pm

        I have a few, Rosemary,Lavender, Basil and Thyme. I cook with these. In addition I have several plants just for Hummingbirds.
        In my area we get Anna’s all year round, so I have a feeder as well.
        That’s about it, except for a bamboo, thanks for asking


  2. dorannrule

    June 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Wow Rita.
    ..your garden is absolutely delightful! It is a place for pure joy and relaxation. I love yhe birds too and love you for your devotion to the sweet little Ben and leaving his basket to remember. You have touched my heart since we lost our rescue dog too.


  3. ritaroberts

    June 25, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Awe ! thank you Dora. I do remember you experienced the same loss of your rescue dog, its heart breaking I know. I posted the photo’s while the garden looks its best because it doesn’t last long, come next month everything will be scorched and the leaves dried with the summer heat. So I enjoy it while I can.


  4. Gracia Travis

    July 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Wow Rita, how that garden has grown and bloomed! Been a few years since I last saw you and John and your garden project was well under way then. It looks idyllic, a little bit of paradise in Crete 🙂 xx


    • ritaroberts

      July 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Gracia, Thank you for visiting my blog. Yes ! you are right its a little bit of paradise for us. Hope you are keeping well and happy.X


  5. nutsfortreasure

    July 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Absolutely beautiful Rita. I know the heartache of my dogs before JT and I have so many of her toys throughout the home, yard and autos I will go insane when it is her time to go as well.
    I told you before I used to raise parakeets but mine were in a huge cage inside my apartment with nesting boxes lined up for the pairs to pick and chose from I wish I lived where there were no winters you are in paradise but think of you with each day our news comes on to talk about the money woes of this world. Hope you two are OK xo


  6. ritaroberts

    July 12, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Thanks for your nice comments Eunice. That is why I won’t have another dog as I don’t think I could stand the heartache again of the loss when they are gone. As expats we are O.K. so far with regard to the Greek crisis, but of course will be glad when and if it all gets sorted. Thanks for your thoughts.x


  7. squirrelbasket

    July 13, 2015 at 5:50 am

    What a wonderful garden – and a view of the wine-dark sea!
    I don’t suppose we can grow acacias here in our cooler climate, but seeing the leaves I can now understand why false acacia (Robinia) is so called.
    All the best 🙂


    • ritaroberts

      July 13, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for reading and your nice comments. Yes I love the Acacia trees they are especially beautiful when swaying in the strong summer breeze.


  8. Etienne

    July 17, 2015 at 9:21 am

    So happy to see your garden, it’s grown so much since you planted it! It turned out beautifully.
    I miss Ben too! He was lucky to find you both… He had a great life thanks to you.
    Do any of your budgies talk like Jamie did — he was amazing too!


  9. ritaroberts

    July 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Etienne, How lovely to hear from you. Don’t forget there are some plants in our garden which you and I planted together remember ! I have two budgerigars in the house now but neither of them talk because if there are two together they wont, they are too wrapped up in each other to concentrate. Ben is still with us, he is buried in the patch opposite the swing. I must say thanks for giving him to us in the first place Etienne.


  10. Pat

    December 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Beautiful gardens Rita.


  11. Kathleen_Vail

    May 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    What a lovely place, Rita! Sometime in my future I hope to visit Crete. My husband and I have a home in Egypt and although we aren’t there right now, I admit I’m a bit homesick for it. I used to blog about Egyptian life and my rooftop gardening ( but life has brought us to new places and new challenges these days. In response, I’ve buried myself in my other love: Ancient Greece.
    I really enjoy your wide variety of interests and post topics. I’ll probably be one of your ‘regulars’ from now on!
    Have a great weekend!


  12. ritaroberts

    May 27, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments Kathleen.We went to Egypt from Crete about 5 years ago.I absolutely loved it because I visited the Valley of the Kings which was my reason to go there in the first place, and the Museum of course. We had a wonderful flight with EgyptAir and our hotel rooms were. excellent . I would like to go again but not at this time, too many problems there.
    We have lived in Crete now for 15 years and love it. Where do you live now Kathleen.?



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