A Short History of Gardens by Gordon Campbell

By Gordon Campbell

Gardens take many varieties, and feature numerous services. they could function areas of peace and tranquilty, the way to domesticate flora and fauna, or as locations to increase agricultural assets. Globally, gardens have encouraged, comforted, and sustained humans from all walks of existence, and because the backyard of Eden many iconic gardens have encouraged nice artists, poets, musicians, and writers.

In this brief background, Gordon Campbell embraces gardens in all their splendour, from parks, and fruit and vegetable gardens to decorative gardens, and takes the reader on a globe-trotting old trip via iconic and cultural signposts of gardens from various areas and traditions. starting from the gardens of historic Persia to trendy day allotments, he concludes via seeking to the way forward for the backyard within the age of world warming, and the adaptive spirit of human innovation.

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The best known is Khirbat al-Mafjar, a palace in the West Bank near Jericho that was built by the high-living caliph al-Walid II, whose murder was to end the Umayyad Caliphate. The enclosed garden was irrigated by aqueducts to supply the arable land, but the enclosure also seems to have accommodated a game reserve. Garden buildings included a domed pavilion with a nearby fountain. 35 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 29/8/2016, SPi The Islamic Garden The transition from the hayr to the ancient chahar bagh model associated with subsequent Islamic design can be seen in Samarra, the short-lived ancient capital of the Abbasid Caliphate on the east bank of the Tigris north of Baghdad.

Byzantium The link between the Roman garden and the Islamic garden is to be found in Byzantium and its empire, which at its greatest extent (under Justinian in the sixth century) almost encircled the Mediterranean and by the time of its collapse in 1453 consisted only of the enclave of Constantinople. No Byzantine garden survives, but their appearance is well documented in visual representations that survived periods of iconoclasm because they had no religious content.  400 is a mosaic from Tabarka (on the coast of what is now Tunisia) and now in the Bardo Museum in Tunis (see Figure 4).

Elsewhere in Italy, gardens were sometimes more spacious than those in the shadow of Vesuvius. Hadrian’s Villa near Tivoli had terraced gardens with a nymphaeum (an architectural grotto with fountains and statues) at one end, still partially standing. The two villas of Pliny the Younger, vividly described in his letters, had topiary and statues. When Romans migrated to the provinces of the Empire, they recreated Roman gardens. The finest survivors, both enhanced by a measure of reconstruction, are at Conimbriga (Portugal), which is remarkable for its use of hundreds of jets of water, and Fishbourne (England), where the northern half of the garden has been replanted using the results of archaeological analysis.

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