First timer at the 2015 Royal Chelsea Flower Show, Emirati Kamelia Bin Zaal is showcasing her garden design at the world’s most renowned gardening event, at the sell-out event, which runs from19 – 23 May. As a result of her passion for greenery, numerous projects, and a diploma in garden design at London’s Inchbald School of Design, she was selected to partake at the celebrated flower show.
“I am so proud and honoured to exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show,” says Kamelia Zaal. “The theme of my garden is The Beauty of Islam. I am continuously inspired by our heritage and wanted to creatively translate my interpretation of our peaceful religion into a beautiful garden design. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to shine a positive light on Arab culture and Islam. Traditional Islamic gardens were a representation of the relationship between humankind and the earth, not only through the gardens productivity, but also through the use of the senses and in its beauty. Creating space of multiple uses but yet still a place of calm and reflection.”
The Al Barari sponsored garden is based on a traditional Islamic pattern set into a 45-degree angle that breaks away from the traditional courtyard quadrant. The design uses both modern and classic materials originating from countries touched by Arab culture and Islam.
Zaal has incorporated poetry through the use of The Flock of Meanings, a poem by ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which was written for “the Father of the Nation” Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and later engraved into stone. Calligraphy, sculpture and the movement and sound of water are used to guide the senses through the garden.
The variety of plant species used in the design is indicative of the spread of Islam as well as the growth of the Arab empire through trade – most famously through the spice route which spread, by sea and over land from the Indian Ocean, Far East, India, the Arabian Gulf, and Red sea and by land onto Europe.