An influential English history is as much a part of the beautiful garden as the plants are.
In 1875, the main construction with extensive gardens was built for a noble Menton family. In 1905, it was acquired by dedicated garden enthusiasts, general in the British army, Lord Percy Radcliffe and his wife Rahmeh Theodora Swinburne.
Upon buying some extra farmland, they converted it all into a landscaped garden with exotic species, including a beautiful palm tree that still welcomes visitors today.
Radcliffe also had the house redesigned in a Provencal-Italian style. Radcliffe’s wife, however, died unexpectedly before the house was completed, and in her memory it was named Val Rahmeh, which in Arabic means “the tranquility of the valley”.
The last occupant, a wealthy English woman, took over the property in 1957, adding rare plant species from around the world. Due to high debt, she had to sell the property to the state in 1966.
Today, the garden is owned and operated by the Museum of Natural History and has been open to the public since 1967.
Some of the rare flower and plant species include Chinese yam, giant Dutch reed, Santa Cruz water lily, Japanese medlar, Mexican weeping bamboo and a Mickey Mouse plant.
By Tommy Sverre / 2020