The Nymphs of the "Garden of Amalia"
A story about the Athenian National Garden and its secrets...
Do Nymphs live in the National Garden? They must do... what magical creature wouldn't want to live in a lush and peaceful green space, full of beautiful birds and tropical plants? The National Garden is one of my favourite locations in Athens, a sort of refuge, a respite from the dense, busy and car-dominated Athenian city centre. This is why it makes me particularly happy that its other name is, of course, "The Garden of Amalia" -unfortunately not after me, but the queen to whom it owes its existence.
It is said that the queen have spent at least three hours a day personally taking care of it. She was the one who planted the iconic palm trees (now 25m tall) which grab the attention when you enter Vasilissis Amalias Avenue.
The garden is home to 7,000 trees; with Judas trees, oleanders and carob trees the undoubted stars, while others come from countries all over the world, such as Australian pines or Chinese trees-of-heaven. Centenarian Holm oaks, cypress trees and Canary Island date palms are also amongst the plants that have been a feature of the garden since it was first created.
Our muse for this story is Antonia, who went to explore the beauties and secret spots of the garden. Antonia chose to wear one of our classic costumes, Rhona, that perfectly matched the colour of the ancient marbles, the paving and stones found in the park. She looks as a magical being herslef, a sculpture that comes to life as she poses around secret corners of the park.
As Henry Miller described it.... “the quintessence of a park, the thing one feels sometimes in looking at a canvas or dreaming of a place one would like to be in and never finds.”