May 27th 2015
Whether it’s eating from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden or harvesting grape clusters for use at one of Israel’s hundreds of wineries, plants have played an important role in the life of Israel, from Biblical times until today. Here are our top picks for places to check out Mother Nature’s local treasures.
Among the ten acres of tropical rain forest at the Utopia Orchid Park, visitors will find orchids, insect-eating plants, parrots, animals and more. There are also two plant mazes with different levels of difficulty, suitable for the whole family, as well as specially designed gardens of roses, cacti and herbs. Don’t miss the Musical Water Fountain Show. Utopia Orchid Park is located in Kibbutz Bahan in central Israel.
Halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is Neot Kedumim, a Biblical landscape reserve whose mission is to present the plants of the Bible as they existed thousands of years ago. Neot Kedumim’s 620 acres feature plants and trees, as well as agricultural exhibits, that recreate for the visitor how our Biblical ancestors related to the plant life of Israel.
If it’s something more cultivated you’re looking for, check out the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa. Nineteen terraces, planted with shrubs, flowering plants, blooming trees and all manner of plant life are set amidst sculptures, fountains, metal and stone and a golden-domed, marble and granite shrine for followers of the Baha’i faith. The Baha’i Gardens in Haifa are among Israel’s most visited landmarks. A 50-minute walking tour will bring you into close contact with Israel’s most extraordinarily landscaped garden.
Jerusalem has two especially noteworthy botanical treasures itself. The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, a 30-acre urban reserve, is divided into six sections, organized by geographic origin of the plants. Featuring over 10,000 species of plant life from Europe, North America, Southern Africa, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean, there’s always something in bloom. Don’t miss the Flower Train, the Plants of the Bible Train and the grass maze, which evokes the African savannah.
As diverse as the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is, that’s how much the Wohl Rose Park is focused on roses. Located opposite the Knesset, the Wohl Rose Park features 15,000 rose bushes, spread over 19 acres. Visitors to the park will enjoy its hills, valleys, lawns, paths, pond, waterfall and sculptures. But the heart and soul of the Wohl Rose Park is its variety of roses from all over the world.