The Jordan Tourism Board has commissioned a specially designed garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show as part of a series of events this year to mark the 200 years since the discovery of Petra, the country’s most iconic tourism attraction.
The Discover Jordan garden will be designed by noted English garden and landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, and will be the largest garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s show, which will be held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace July 3rd-8th 2012.
Carved out of a red sandstone valley and hidden behind mountain peaks, Petra is in the spotlight this year as the country celebrates 200 years since the ‘Lost City’ was discovered by the western world by explorer Johann Burckhardt in 1812, who secretly sent maps back to London’s Royal Geographic Society.
Sponsored by the Jordan Tourism Board in partnership with tour operator Cox & Kings, the Discover Jordan garden will showcase the surprisingly varied landscape and rich floral diversity of the country, and at 22 metres by 14 metres the garden will be the largest to feature in the show’s new ‘World of Gardens’ section.
Designer Paul Hervey-Brookes travelled to Jordan earlier this year to learn more about the country and says he “fell in love” with the unexpected diversity of the destination, and was surprised to discover that there are over 2,500 plant species in Jordan, of which 100 are endemic to the region.
For gardeners, Jordan has a vast, rich flora – almost double that of the United Kingdom – and when the desert is in bloom, it is one of the riches experiences nature has to offer.
From February to May, many regions are carpeted with a dazzling array of flowering plants. Jordan boasts a wide variety of wild flowers, but the most famous is the national flower - the Black Iris.
Stephen Hurp, director of the Jordan Tourism Board in the UK, says that while Petra is understandably a highlight for visitors to Jordan, the Discover Jordan garden is the ideal platform to showcase other unique aspects of Jordan to UK travellers.
“So often restricted to majestic Petra, deserts and Bedouin, there is little knowledge of the country’s mountains and beaches, castles and ancient churches, or richness of its culture,” he said.