Gardening Through History
After the emergence of the first civilizations in our history, wealthy individuals began to create gardens for aesthetic purposes.
Ancient Egyptian Garden
Wealthy ancient Egyptians used gardens for providing shade. Egyptians associated trees and gardens with gods as they believed that their deities were pleased by gardens.
These gardens were a sign of higher socioeconomic status. In addition, wealthy ancient Egyptians grew vineyards, as wine was a sign of the higher social classes. Roses, poppies, daisies and irises could all also be found in the gardens of the Egyptians.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Assyria was also renowned for its beautiful gardens. These tended to be wide and large, some of them used for hunting game—rather like a game reserve today—and others as leisure gardens. Cypresses and palms were some of the most frequently planted types of trees.
Ancient Roman Garden
Ancient Roman gardens were laid out with hedges and vines and contained a wide variety of flowers—acanthus, cornflowers, crocus, cyclamen, hyacinth, iris, ivy, lavender, lilies, myrtle, narcissus, poppy, rosemary and violets as well as statues and sculptures. Flower beds were popular in the courtyards of rich Romans.
Medieval Ages Garden
The Middle Age represented a period of decline in gardens for aesthetic purposes, in what concerns gardening. After the fall of Rome, gardening was done for the purpose of growing medicinal herbs and/or decorating church altars. Monasteries carried on a tradition of garden design and intense horticultural techniques during the medieval period in Europe. Generally, monastic garden types consisted of kitchen gardens, infirmary gardens, cemetery orchards, cloister garths and vineyards. Individual monasteries might also have had a “green court”, a plot of grass and trees where horses could graze, as well as a cellarer’s garden or private gardens for obedientiaries, monks who held specific posts within the monastery.
Islamic gardens were built after the model of Persian gardens and they were usually enclosed by walls and divided in 4 by watercourses. Commonly, the center of the garden would have a pool or pavilion. Specific to the Islamic gardens are the mosaics and glazed tiles used to decorate the rills and fountains that were built in these gardens.
13th Century Garden
By the late 13th century, rich Europeans began to grow gardens for leisure and for medicinal herbs and vegetables. They surrounded the gardens by walls to protect them from animals and to provide seclusion.
During the next two centuries, Europeans started planting lawns and raising flowerbeds and trellises of roses. Fruit trees were common in these gardens and also in some, there were turf seats.
At the same time, the gardens in the monasteries were a place to grow flowers and medicinal herbs but they were also a space where the monks could enjoy nature and relax.
16th-17th Century Garden
The gardens in the 16th and 17th century were symmetric, proportioned and balanced with a more classical appearance. Most of these gardens were built around a central axis and they were divided into different parts by hedges. Commonly, gardens had flowerbeds laid out in squares and separated by gravel paths.
Gardens in Renaissance were adorned with sculptures, topiary and fountains. In the 17th century, knot gardens became popular along with the hedge mazes. By this time, Europeans started planting new flowers such as tulips, marigolds and sunflowers.
Cottage gardens, which emerged in Elizabethan times, appear to have originated as a local source for herbs and fruits.
According to the late 19th-century legend of origin, these gardens were originally created by the workers that lived in the cottages of the villages, to provide them with food and herbs, with flowers planted among them for decoration.
Farm workers were provided with cottages that had architectural quality set in a small garden—about an acre—where they could grow food and keep pigs and chickens.
18th Century Gardens
In the 18th century, gardens were laid out more naturally, without any walls. This style of smooth undulating grass, which would run straight to the house, clumps, belts and scattering of trees and his serpentine lakes formed by invisibly damming small rivers, were a new style within the English landscape, a “gardenless” form of landscape gardening, which swept away almost all the remnants of previous formally patterned styles.
The history of English garden usually included a lake, lawns set against groves of trees, and often contained shrubberies, grottoes, pavilions, bridges and follies such as mock temples, Gothic ruins, bridges, and other picturesque architecture, designed to recreate an idyllic pastoral landscape.
This new style emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical Garden à la française of the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe.
The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. Also, in 1804 the Horticultural Society was formed.
As you can see, the culture of gardening has developed thrоugh history and it is still developing until today. Beautiful gardens has always inspired the most prominent artists in every possible way.