The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Horticulture in Greece

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539. Horticulture in the central part of Greece. The country abounds with corn, barley, and linseed; the gardens are full of vegetables, and peaches, olives, mulberries, and grapes. There is an abundance of honeysuckles. The country round Athens is partly waste and covered with heath, and partly enlivened with groves of olives, interspersed with fields of barley and vineyards. The residence of Signor Lusieri, an artist of distinguished talents, is delightfully situated under the rocks of the Acropolis. The terrace in the garden commands one of the finest views of Athens and its environs. (Bremsen's Letters, &c.) A tree nursery was begun at Athens in 1830, but in a few years it was neglected and given up; and when M. Baumann visited Athens in 1837, he found only one nursery there: all the plants there were, however, flourishing, particularly found and pear trees, mulberries, pomegranates, and vines. Dr. Clarke informs us that the vineyards of Arracovia, upon the south side of Parnassus, are managed with as much skill and labour as the finest vineyards on the banks of the Rhine. (Travels, &c., vol. vii. p. 254.) The gardens about Athens abound in lizards, as well as the houses, and storks are encouraged to feed on them. (Hobhouse's Travels in Albania, &c.) Mr. Hobhouse adds that he found only two stands of beehives on Mount Hymettus; and that very little of the honey is now to be had in Athens, though in its neighbourhood there is still abundance of wild thyme. (Ibid., vol. ii. p. 388.) The hills on the Thracian side are a continued vineyard. (Ibid.)