On the 16th of May I traveled to Amman, Jordan to spend two weeks working in the Royal Botanical Garden. The Garden is built for the conservation of Jordan’s native flora. Occupying an area of 200ha, the it includes seven native biomes. The site is grazed sustainably in partnership with local herders.
The Garden has a herbarium with over 2000 specimens. The specimens are perfectly kept and have very thorough records. The staff have worked with foreign partners such as Kew Gardens and BGCI, allowing the Garden to undertake projects to the standards of an industry leader. Visiting the Garden illustrated to me just how valuable this co-operation is, creating an incredible botanical collection which deals with an often poorly represented floral region. A large number of the herbarium specimens are available online, one of the world’s first online herbaria.
To serve its conservation and ecological goals, the Garden grows only Jordanian native flora. Plants are propagated on site in the nursery. Collected wild seed I’d kept in a special seed storage room. Seed is stored at three degrees Celsius and is re-germinated every 3-10 years, depending on viability loss rate. If a garden stores seed, having the correct facilities to do so is essential.
Working in the Royal Botanical Garden was a great experience. Jordan is a beautiful country and the people are friendly and helpful. I also did a little bit of site seeing. I visited Jerash which has incredible Greco-Roman settlement ruins at the centre. Hopefully I will get to visit Jordan again in the future.