On the island of Lošinj the sound of the lawnmower certainly will not wake you up. Maybe here and there some ambitious gardener is trying to beat the climate and create a pleasantly green natural carpet, but it’s more a kind of eccentric hobby, than a real gardening option here. Lawnmowers are not common here. Even our hotel lawns, despite all the care and irrigation, already in the middle of May get that burnt colour of the sand and start to look a bit like some African landscape. Maybe our lawns are not green in the summer, but they certainly look passionate, sunburnt and very, very Mediterranean.
That’s why people here do not compete over whose grass is greener – nobody has green grass at all.
But an enjoyable game called a gardening competition is not unknown in Lošinj! It certainly has its own rules, its classes and attributes! Since, during its history, Lošinj was a famous maritime centre, from which the Lošinj captains and sailors sailed to all the corners of the world, the gardening competition took on really global proportions – sailors and captains did their best to bring home all the exotic, stunning, impressive and weird plants that they saw in distant countries. They, together with their proud wives, looked forward to planting them in their beautiful, harmonious, city gardens.
The enormously high palm trees, bananas, kiwis, citrus fruits of all kinds, succulents, agaves, cacti, ginkgo … are some of the most popular trophies of Lošinj gardens. Even our famous pine trees are not part of the natural vegetation – each of them was planted by the diligent hands of Ambroz Haračić, and his helpers.
By the middle of the 20th century, Lošinj was taken over by exotic plants, which became common, but since the 60’s a new gardening challenge has occurred – people from continental parts of Croatia settled on Lošinj and did their best to bring plants from the continental climate. Apricots, peaches, nice garden flowers were maybe an even bigger challenge, and truly “exotic” for the hot Lošinj climate and permeable soil. But, here and there – they did it!
I believe everyone is familiar with cacti, agaves and palm trees, but if you come to Lošinj in the spring, I imagine you will be surprised by one really unusual plant. Carpobrotus edulis is a weird succulent, native to southern Africa, which covers large areas with its extremely thick, fleshy leaves of trapezoidal cross-section and big pink flowers … Exotic leaves of this plants are as thick as a grown man’s finger, and its flowers are as big as the palm of a lady’s hand. I can picture to myself a Lošinj seaman looking at this unusual robust, yet delicate and subtle plant, joyfully planning in which part of his exotic island garden he will plant this stunning beauty. If you love gardening, I guess you will agree that the excitement over a new, decorative, massive, unusual plant for your garden is one of the great joys of life!
It’s fun to walk through the streets of Lošinj, with the constant feeling that you’re somewhere in an exotic part of the world – the deep shade of palm trees, the strong colors of cactus flowers, the unusually shaped leathery leaves. The eccentric forms of cacti and succulents will tell you a story about how the Lošinj people planted, competed with, and enjoyed the beauty of life, the warm climate and long trips overseas.
Our hotels are situated in an idyllic landscape of pine forests – which only rarely allow other plants to grow in their shadow, so you can peacefully enjoy not only the comforts of the hotel, but also plenty of soft and open floor under a protective dense shade of pine trees. And if you like to walk – even on the hottest day you can enjoy long walks – our island is safely hidden in the shadow of pines, palms, olive trees and other trees planted by the diligent hands of Lošinj gardeners. While you walk in the shade of trees and the vibrant Mediterranean houses, enjoy the diversity and simplicity of Lošinj gardens and judge for yourself, which neighbour has the most exotic garden!
We have a suggestion for your trip – take a tour to the Garden of fine scents. There you can find out more about the fragrant Lošinj plants, enjoy a symphony of smell and the irresistible view of the sea. You can buy some of the products that are produced from the Lošinj plants, which will remind you of the warm and sunny experience of Lošinj during those long winter days, when we all miss the colours and scents!
… and, finally, take some time to relax in our wellness zones – soaking up the smell of local herbs, salt and algae with all your senses. Enhance your vacation and let your body, mind and spirit be fully rested by the tactile story of Lošinj nature.