Rock Rock This magnificent structure sits at the center of Yarkon Park's rock garden. (All photos by Zach Pontz)

Take a tour of one of the world's largest rock gardens

This urban paradise is a must-see destination for tourists and residents.

At the northern edge of Tel Aviv, Israel, sits a slice of pastoral life that is as green as the city is white. Yarkon Park is a gem of an urban playground, a great open space where many of the city's inhabitants picnic or enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Within the park are several amusements, including a climbing wall, tennis and basketball courts, a tropical forest and perhaps the most magnificent attraction of all, a rock garden, one of the largest of its kind in the world. In this 10-acre enclosure you’ll find rocks interspersed with some 3,500 species of plants, including over six acres of cacti, many of them beautifully flowering. From The Grapevine recently made a visit.

This well positioned collection of rocks sits near the entrance of the garden.This collection of rocks represents a cross-section of the various types in the garden from around the world.

A collection of chalk rock and nari.Chalk rock mixes with nari, a soft stone found in and around Jerusalem.

A pile of rock salt is the centrepiece of a section of the rock garden.A pile of rock salt sits at the center of a path that leads to a view of the park's lake.

A close up of the rock salt.Rock salt is typically formed by the evaporation of salty water (such as sea water).

This phosphorite benefits from a pretty backdrop.Phosphorite such as this is found mainly in Israel, Western Europe, Northern Africa and the United States.

Different colors found in the selection of rocks attests to the variety present in the garden.A path on the southern edge of the garden is lined with rocks of various shapes, sizes and colors.

These rocks were closer in size to boulders and attest to the various sizes of rocks present in the garden.These rocks were so large, they were given their own section of the garden.

The cactus garden sits on some 6 acresThe cactus garden sits on some 6 acres. Paths wind through the various patches of cacti.

These round cactus are one of the main attractions of the cacti section of the garden.It may look like a watermelon patch, but these are actually round cacti, present throughout the cactus garden. These cacti had already begun to flower.These cacti had already begun to flower.

The collection of cacti are beautiful, but its best to keep a distance from their needles.The collection of cacti are beautiful, but it's best to keep a distance lest they literally become a thorn in your side.

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