The master plan of Oman Botanic Garden, Salha disclosed, includes two biome habitats -- representing the southern and northern mountains in Oman -- six outdoor habitats (wadi, sand deserts, central desert, northern gravel desert
, sabkhas -- salt flats and terraces), a visitor centre and habitats pavilion, amenity areas for visitors, interactive exhibits, a research centre, a native plants nursery and Oman's first cable car service to go around the precincts of the garden.
Oman was the first country to reintroduce the Arabian oryx back into its natural habitat, which is gravel desert
, as early as 1982.
Altogether, 1,794 plants of 48 species, including 30 trees, were carefully positioned within the designated 'northern gravel desert' area of the Botanic Garden.
"The 'northern gravel desert' habitat is found all around Muscat and is quite dramatic, with its stony surface and scattering of acacia trees (Acacia tortilis or samur).
Additional species from regional ecosystems such as coastal and mountainous regions, sand and gravel desert
, wadis, oases and aquatic habitats, together with agricultural plants will be hosted in an adjacent desert garden that the donor is planning to build.
The only way to the semi-nomadic village was by Land Rover, across a rough, arid, gravel desert
, not the sand dunes you see in the movies.
Even the diggings, which were 2,000 acres of pure gravel desert
a century ago--stripped of soil by giant nozzles washing out the scattered gold--are colonized by hardy manzanita, bonsai-looking pine, and some other highly adapted plants.