History of Gardens
The gardens of Persia and India were often park like, covering many acres. Because of the warm climate, the gardens always had running water and trees planted for shade. They were also filled with flowers, brilliant in color and very fragrant. Ancient rugs and tapestries show pictures of these old gardens.
The early gardens of China and, later, Japan featured idealized landscapes, with small scale mountains, seas, rocks, and plants. All parts of the gardens were symbolic: they stood for other things, such as man, woman, life, and peace.
About the 5th century b. c. the Greeks began to have gardens like those of the Persians. Even in those early days there was a flower market in Athens. Myrtle, laurel, roses, and violets were made into crowns for the heroes of the great athletic games in Greece. It was said that Italy, during the period of the Roman Empire, was covered with gardens from one end to the other.
During the period of the Renaissance, the gardens of Italy were the most beautiful that have ever been built. Many of them were like those in the old Roman villas. These gardens were usually laid out on a sloping site, arranged on different levels. They always contained water, either in cascades or in pools. Trees and shrubs were so arranged as to frame beautiful views of the surrounding country.
The Renaissance spread from Italy to France and gradually to Holland and England. Gardens had many fountains and statues and were very formal. The influence of the Renaissance may still be seen in the gardens of these countries.
By the 18th century gardens were becoming more natural. People liked being able to pick flowers without fear of ruining the formal design. Today all kinds of gardens can be found,
and as people have all through history, they enjoy and profit by gardening.