Ficus nebari from Crete

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Ficus nebari from Crete

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:18 pm

On my recent trip to Crete, this was the view that greeted me as I drank my coffee in the sunshine each morning. It's a Ficus of some description. Hopefully, the hosepipe will give you a small idea of the spread of the roots.

I had every intention of capturing a million and one pics of ancient Olive trees whilst there, but the sheer number of them boggled my brain (easily done) so much that I eventually gave up looking for the 'perfect' tree. The owner of the apartments where we stayed (Andreas) has a farm with over 2000 mature Olive trees on it (Yes, I did say 2000!). We've already booked to return next year and he has promised me that he will show me around and maybe, just maybe, he'll let me collect one! He also does a sideline in home-distilled raki which he doles out to all and sundry from a plastic water bottle he has in a pouch on his belt. I asked him how much he makes each year and he said around 400 kilos. That's 400 kilos of raki, not 400 kilos of grapes!

One interesting point to note though, when I told him about my bonsai 'thing' and that I was looking to collect a wild Olive, he told me that I wouldn't find any on Crete. Every single tree, even the ones that line the side of almost every road, are privately owned. Apparently, they are used as dowries.

On the upside, the island is littered with stunning rocks that anyone can have. I'm not sure what kind of rock it is, but almost every one of them has deep pits/troughs in them suitable for planting. I swiped the one off the reception desk that was being used as an ashtray as it was the ideal size for the space I had in my case. I'll take it to Burrs and see if anyone can put a name to the variety. I'm hoping to bring a few more back with me next year. No pics yet, sorry.


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