DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The sweet fragrance of petunias fills the air of the Miracle Garden, which is indeed such a miracle bursting from this desert landscape that it's not easy to get one's mind around the concept. But in a land where money is no object and where beauty and comfort are at a maximum, it somehow flies.
For Dubai is what it is — a brave new world, emphasis on new, with every imaginable luxury including this colorful swath of floral explosion that is part Disney World and part Keukenhof (without the trees and grass). Think 45 million flowers spread in intriguing designs across 18 acres. Think zillions of gallons of treated waste water to keep it blooming.
"It's well worth the brief excursion into the desert to view this true miracle in an extreme environment."
According to a report in Gulfnews.com, Miracle Gardens' landscape guru Akar, says that the company wants to demonstrate "that it’s possible to green the desert through judicious re-use of waste water, through drip irrigation.”
Lush hardly begins to describe the jaw-dropping confections of flowers and more flowers. Flowers in a massive clock. Flower configurations to easily surpass the Rose Bowl parade. Flowers in heart-shaped arches creating an allée. Flowers covering whimsical fairytale buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and British cottages. Flowers in peacock formation. Flowers of all colors overhead creating a shaded oasis for food and drink.
Geraniums, marigolds, nasturtiums, fragrant alyssum and millions of sweet-scented petunias fill every vista with colorful explosions. Shaded rest stops beneath lush arbors of flowering plants offer respite from the warm sun. Snack shops, tea pavilions and men and women's mosques are among the amenities in this park where even the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building) is recreated in a 59-foot tall tower of flowers.
You've never seen anything like it and it's well worth the brief excursion into the desert to view this true miracle in an extreme environment.
The Miracle Garden is open October to late May, depending on the Dubai heat which in summer months can turn the floral fantasy into a fried field with temps reaching 120 degrees. Open only since 2013, the fantasy garden has become a popular tourist destination, one that requires a hat or umbrella for the sun-sensitive.
We hitched a ride with Arabian Adventures on this excursion.
Next up in Shelby's Dubai Diary: Horse racing and a surprise encounter with a soccer great. To view the previous day's story in this week long series, click here. (Shelby Hodge's trip to Dubai was hosted by Emirates Airline.)