The province of Antalya provides the ideal climate for almost any type of fruit tree to thrive. Many ancient travelers called this region the “Garden of the Gods”. The high altitude is ideal for fruits requiring continental climate, as well as wine grapes demanding dramatic temperature changes from day and night. Throughout the city of Antalya, you can find olive, orange, lemon, and pomegranate trees planted in parks, along streets, or in the garden of apartment complexes.
Beautiful plants and flowerbeds are planted and cared for by the local municipality and such can be seen and enjoyed in every neighborhood and along all highways and roadways. Fragrant jasmine, as well as many blossoming trees, are planted along sidewalks. I must say that the municipality (Belediye) does a marvelous job of beautifying the city. Antalya’s stunning Turquoise Coast is a major tourist attraction and the beautification efforts go a long way in attracting tourists to come here.
Throughout the region, you can find large greenhouses to grow shrubs, trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. 63% of all agricultural production comes from greenhouses in Antalya. 53% of Turkey’s greenhouse vegetables are produced in Antalya. 73% of cut flowers are grown in Kepez (a city within the Antalya province).
Not knowing all these interesting facts at the time, we made friends with our neighbor’s gardener, Osman Ali, and asked him to help us with our small patio garden. We expressed to him that we would like to have a garden with flowering plants and herbs, especially those that can be used to make tea. We wanted to make use of the patio table and four chairs throughout the summer as we hope to enjoy a few BBQ get togethers with our neighbors.
Mr. Osman Ali started with pulling weeds and turning the soil to irrigate it. He said he’d return in two days to turn the soil again and we would then go to a nursery to buy our plants.
We tagged along with Mr. Osman Ali drove as he drove outside the main city of Antalya to reach a nursery of his choosing. We drove past greenhouse after a greenhouse. There were so many we’ve lost count. We finally arrived at the desired nursery Sanart Landscape where we were met by a young lady who helped us make our selection based on our desires, the type of soil, and the sunlight in our garden.
The young lady assisting us knew little English, so we communicated via Google translate to help explain various plants we were looking to add to our garden. She was so kind in trying to understand us and offered us tea.
Turks use mostly fresh herbs in cooking to season their foods. Due to the ideal climate and how simple they are to grow, we decided to plant mint, parsley, sage, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and thyme. We decided that having fresh herbs on hand would be nice and useful when cooking or making a fresh pot of herbal tea.
For color, we selected snapdragons, chrysanthemums, petunias, zinnia, and a few other flowering plants. Lavender is most popular here, so we decided to add a few shrubs to the garden. At our front door, we have two lemon trees in wooden planters where we planted petunia flowers around them to add a pop of color to our entrance. I am excited about our garden and looking forward to drinking tea and having friends over to enjoy our own “Garden of the Gods.”
Going to a nursery can be like walking into a candy store. You have so many choices, you want to buy everything, but when you get to the counter to pay it is usually more than what you wanted to spend. Well, after all is said and done and after drinking two good cups of Turkish Tea, we ended up with an assortment of (82) plants… all of which at a cost of $70 USD. A fantastic price!
Soon we will be able to enjoy our garden and its beautiful colors and fragrances.