(Finally filling in a few of the gaps.)
This garden, which we visited while in Kerman, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the epitome of a desert oasis: flowers, fountains, cushions to sit on, and excellent meals under the trees.
This is the view from outside the garden -- typical Iranian dusty desert.
But behind the mosaic walls, water cascades down the tiers of a double staircase punctuated by fountains, surrounded by trees and snow-capped mountains. It's truly magical, as though the gates were some kind of portal to another world.