The Beauty of Islam Garden The Chelsea Flower Show 2015

By Alex N

The Beauty of Islam Garden

The Beauty of Islam is in honour of his highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayhan - the late father and president of The United Arab Emirates.  It's designed by Kamelia Zaal of Al Barari, Dubai, the first Emirati landscape designer to show at Chelsea Flower Show.  It absolutely stands out as being different from the other gardens whether you love it or hate it.

Based on a traditional, Arabic pattern that is set into a 45-degree angle, The Beauty of Islam and is different from the typical, traditional courtyard quadrant. Under dark clouds this garden actually shone out due to the use of white.  It also had a clean and simple refreshing look next to the business of its neighboring show gardens

The Beauty of Islam Garden

A seamless combination of modern and classic materials from countries touched by Arabic and Islamic culture, including Turkish white marble, form the foundations of the garden’s  design and flow.  The classic marble and pearl give it an unmistakably Arabic feel.

Water flows linking each room - a lifeline which is typical of Islamic design. Dividers of stainless steel and cement add contrast and a backbone for the high quality established trees and planting

The Beauty of Islam Garden

Interesting Islamic plants have been used including Orange, Olive, Fig and Pomegranate trees, Cardamom, Pepper, Turmeric, Jasmine, Rosemary and Papyrus.  Through the plants chosen, visitors to the garden embark on a journey, mapping the growth of the Arabic empire through its history, rooted in trade.

The garden tells the story of the Spice Route, which spread by sea and overland from the Indian Ocean, the Far East, India, the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and into Europe.

The Beauty of Islam Garden

Coffee and cardamom are peppered throughout Al Barari’s The Beauty of Islam,

Through the use of horticulture, poetry, scents and calligraphy, its designer, Kamelia Bin Zaal of Al Barari, Dubai, will take the garden’s visitors on a contemporary, atmospheric voyage through Islamic and Arabic culture.

The Beauty of Islam Garden

“The gates of the Garden of Eden will open up to them,” are the words from the Holy Qu’ran, Surah Sad: Verse 50, carved into the white marble water wall that majestically overlooks the garden.

The text is seen in traditional Islamic Thuluth  calligraphy, originally painted by Emirati calligraphist Hamda Abdulla Al Hashmi. The focal point of Al Barari’s The Beauty of Islam is a magnificent stainless steel sculpture that sits in the water feature and reads, ‘Ullah’.

The Beauty of Islam Garden

The Beauty of Islam Garden

Fig and Pomegranate trees are refreshingly mature for a Chelsea Show Garden.  No expense spared.

Plant list

Palms & Trees
Bismarckia nobilis
Citrus auranticum
Ficus carica
Nanorrhops Arabica = ritchiana
Salix babylonica

Olea europea

Allium nigrum
Alocasia macrorrhiza
Alpina zerumbet
Alternanthera Green
Carex flacca
Carex pseudocyperus
Cistus salvifoius prostratus
Convolvulus cneorum
Convolvulus sabatius
Cymbopogon citratus
Cyperus papyrus Nanum
Eleteria cardamomum
Gomphrena globosa alba
Teucrium fruticans bushes
Myrtus communis
Myrtus microphyllus
Matthiola longipetala
Matthiola incana alba
Myrrhis odorata
Nerium oleander (white)
Petroselenium crispum
Rosa White
Rosmarinus officinalis
Salvia officinalis
Tabaermontana pachysiphon
Thymus serphyllum Album
Thymus vulgaris White

Alex N

I'm passionate about online learning, and lucky enough to work for Learning with Experts. Most recent course: The Pie Shop with River Cottage's Tom Morrell. Next course: Container Gardening with Chris Beardshaw.

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