Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Unlikely Oasis: Ein Gedi Botanical Garden

Ein Gedi sits near the Dead Sea amid the desert. Despite the vast expanse of the seemingly endless hills and rocks, the botanical garden here defies logic and swoops its visitors into a lush tropical paradise.  In the photo above, the Dead Sea is off in the distance.

This giant tree stations itself at the center of the resort, giving off shade on a warm day.

Those of us used to planting drought tolerant gardens will recognize characteristics of water-stingy plants:  spines, small leaves, gray foliage.  I love how architectural this guy is.

A less hostile drought tolerant succulent than its friend above.

A large branch arches its way into the landscape.  Apparently, the garden was planted only about 50 years ago.  Very impressive!  Like most of Israel's gardens, drip irrigation tubing snaked along the planting beds in neat rows.
While I don't see myself planting lush tropicals in my Oakland garden, I'm impressed and inspired by the ability of these folks to build what they envisioned despite the harsh conditions.  I have to admit, I'm also conflicted about their use of resources to create something so artificial to the area.  What are your thoughts?


  1. Hello Christine,

    Living in a desert myself, I would love to visit this garden someday and see the similarities and differences in the plants we grow. Thank you for sharing your visit.

  2. Wonderful photography - Can't wait to stop back and see what you share in the New Year!