The Mundane World
Tom Hart Dyke’s world was a little more adventurous than most. He searched for plants in exotic locales as a horticulturist from England. He is the heir to the Lullingstone estate, home of a 500-year old castle.
The Call To Adventure
Hart Dyke’s call came in the form of a longing to hunt for orchids. He spent two years traveling the world searching for rare orchids.
Crossing The Threshold
Upon arriving in Colombia he and a friend, Paul Winder, entered the jungle in search of a new orchid. He ignored the warnings from locals that the area they were entering was teeming with guerrilla fighters and drug gangs, not to mention full of dangerous terrain.
The Path of Trials
Hart Dyke and Winder were kidnapped by rebel fighters and held for nine months. Hart Dyke protected his mental health by imagining a world garden – one that was shaped like a world map with indigenous plants making up each area. He endured regular death threats and, bizarrely, even had his exotic seeds burned. He claims his incessant talk of flowers drove his captors to give up on getting a ransom and let Winder and him free.
Master of Two Worlds
After being freed, Hart Dyke returned to Lullingstone to bring his dream to reality. The World Garden was opened in 2005.