Flower of the month | July | Thyme

I am trying to steer this blog away from Greek politics (a depressing subject) and the Greek crisis (it’s summer, swimming in the sea is free and there are plenty of tourists who are bringing some much needed revenue so “the crisis” is not as present as it was throughout winter and spring). One thought I had was to start showing a monthly flower photo: one flower a month, something that can be found in Crete during the specific month.

I think that there is no better flower to start with than thyme. Thyme defines the smell of Crete (together with other herbs such as oregano and marjoram). You can smell it as soon as you get off the plane in Chania. It even drowns out the smell of airplane fuel on the airport tarmac.

Flowering thyme near Hora Sfakion

Flowering thyme near Hora Sfakion (click to enlarge)

Thyme grows from sea level all the way up to the alpine zone (around 1800m). You can see the very first flowering bushes in late May (at sea level in warm south facing areas) but its main flowering time is July where it can cover entire hill sides in pink. It is the most important flower for honey production. Many consider thyme honey to be the best honey in the world and it commands much higher prices than any other honey, so beekeepers make sure to move their hives near areas where a lot of thyme is flowering.

Thyme flowering in the White Mountains

Thyme flowering in the White Mountains (click to enlarge)


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5 Responses to Flower of the month | July | Thyme

  1. Dragonmamma says:

    Glad to hear that there are plenty of tourists alleviating the crisis somewhat. And with such beautiful and enticing pictures of flowers maybe more will be coming. Especially as “Summer” this year year in England is so dismal with floods and damp cold temperatures barely lifting above 15degrees.
    I only wish I had the cash to travel there this year.

  2. Jan says:

    Please may we have the peony as flower of the month next May? It’s a long time till then, I know, but worth waiting for.

    • Jean says:

      Ha! Ha! So I am taking orders for next year’s flowers? OK, actually not a bad idea. We could have this comments thread as an order list for flowers of the month.
      So what’s for August (to say close to the present)?

      • Jan says:

        Not orders, requests 🙂
        I never visit Greece in August – too hot for me – so don’t know what’s in flower then. Too early for sea squills?

        • Jean says:

          Sea squills are funny flowers: they seem to start flowering at altitude (1300m or so) and then make their way down to sea level. This is the opposite of what flowers here normally do which is start flowering low down and gradually make their way to higher grounds. I guess that their flowering could be triggered by low (night?) temperatures. In any case, you will see the first ones higher up in a few weeks but July is a little too early. But you are most welcome to REQUEST sea squills for September or October 🙂 Considering that there are so few flowers in late summer / early autumn the chances of it being granted are pretty good.

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