Hart Dyke was kidnapped while plant hunting in the Panamanian jungle in 2000. He spent part of his nine months in captivity growing orchids and dreamed of creating a World Garden back home at Lullingstone Castle in Kent, featuring plants gathered from around the globe as well as an orchid house.
The World Garden of Plants opened to the public in 2005, but it was not until last Saturday (21 May) that the orchid house was finally opened. The structure, named "Orchis", houses more than 80 varieties of orchid from Restrepia from Columbia to scented Stanhopea species and Dracula species from Ecuador. Joining them are air plants, cacti, Cape primrose and the world's most dangerous plant.
The conditions in Orchis will be closely monitored to maintain high humidity and a minimum temperature of 10 degsC - ideal conditions for these orchids to thrive.
Hart Dyke was joined over the weekend by many figures from the orchid world including Jeff Hutchings, John Walters, Jon Dunn, Laurence Hobbs, Marei Karge-Liphard and Clara Sander.