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Agriculture

Published on July 12th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers

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Visit the Eden Project – Horticultural Paradise

July 12th, 2011 by  


Photo: Eszara

A horticultural wonderland, known as the Eden Project, featuring over one million plants, is very much worth the visit.

Developed by founder Tim Smit, this remarkable site is located in Cornwall, UK, on what once was an abandoned clay mine, dormant for some 160 years,

Visitors to the Eden Project will discover a rich and abundant garden considered by the Guinness Book of Records to be the world’s largest greenhouse. is a unique resource center for people who want to know more about nature and the environment.

The greenhouse features three distinct biomes that feature different environments. A biome is a complex biotic community characterized by distinctive plant and animal species.

Constructed under the guidance of Eden’s chief executive, Tim Smit, a talented team of horticulturalists has created the site.

The enclosed biomes are bubble structures that were constructed using tubular steel space-frames featuring ETFE (ethyltetrafluoroethylene) hexagonal panels. the Rainforest Biome (big enough to fit the Tower of London), and the Mediterranean Biome. In addition, an open-air Outdoor Biome exists, reflecting typical characteristics of English gardens.

The Rainforest Biome features what is reportedly the world’s largest enclosed jungle. It contains tropical plants, a huge cascading waterfall and a canopy lookout. The internal climate is controlled using automated misters to moisten the air (90 percent relative humidity at night, 60 percent in the day), while ground-level pipes irrigate the soil. In addition, the waterfall uses recycled water and also helps keep humidity high.

The balmy Mediterranean Biome emits the scents of lemon and olive trees, grape vines and perfumed herbs. It’s a representation of plants naturally found in the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. This biome’s climate is kept drier, and open vents are used to reduce humidity and therefore fungal problems.

During the first couple of months of construction, 43 million gallons (162.7 million liters) of rainwater drained into the site, which prompted the engineers to come up with a subterranean drainage system. It is currently used to collect all the rainwater entering the site.

The Outdoor Biome displays an array of flora that suits the UK climate including tea, lavender, hops, hemp and sunflowers. The garden also serves as a source of information, featuring stories of plants, and how they can be used to create medicine, fuels, materials and food throughout the world.

Last month during its global torch relay, the World Harmony Run carried its torch to the Eden Project and presented a special award to Tim Smit, “for his major contribution to changing the world into one where, in his own words, ‘plants provide a canvas on which we can paint an optimistic future.'”

The Eden Project is open to the public all year round and hosts a variety of education, entertainment and charity programs.

PHOTO: Eszara Flickr

 


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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.



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