Greece is a relative late-comer to the holiday property market, following all the further-west Mediterranean countries. Yet Greece has many attractions, especially in hot weather: high mountains, woods, extensive coasts and fine beaches.
Greece also has perhaps the largest and most varied native flora in Europe. It was never glaciated. One would expect these qualities to have been a great incentive to garden making, but very little is known of Greek gardens at any period in history. In Classical times plants do not seem to have been grown in domestic courtyards. Greece lost its independence to the Romans and it was not re-gained until 1829. It was then a poor country.
But the future for Greek gardens looks very bright. The country has everything necessary for a high garden culture. The most popular areas for foreign buyers are the islands (of which there are some 2,500): Crete, which has a growing retirement community, the Cyclades (Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros), the Dodecanese (Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos), the Ionian (Corfu, Paxos, Zakynthos). The Peolponnese is becoming more popular, and deservedly.
A somewhat relaxed attitude to property-related paperwork (and indeed other paperwork, e.g. wills) means that disputes as to the ownership of Greek properties are not unheard of. Before investing in a Greek holiday home it is essential to obtain proof of ownership from the seller to guard against claims by third parties. Greek law stipulates that if a person has been in possession of a property for 20 years they are considered to be the legal owner. So in instances where there are simply no deeds relating to the property, the seller will need to produce evidence of possession for at least 20 years and the local council will then produce a certificate of ownership.
Greek wild flowers