The history of gardening is said to stem across over 4,000 years. The Egyptians first showed evidence of a garden landscape structure in 1500 BC, and were found on ancient tomb paintings. The Egyptians were known for their interest in gardens, both within their homes and near spiritual temples, their garden landscapes could also be seen within tomb chapels.
A variety of flowers and trees were grown by the Egyptians some of which symbolised ancient gods and spiritual power. Some of which were;
Tamarisk sacred to Wesir, olive, acacia, willow, date palm sacred to Re and Min, and sycamore sacred to Het-Hert.
Lily and delphinium, mandrake mandatory officinarum, daisy, cornflower, water lily, and papyrus
Garden temples were considered sacred, so the Egyptians would grow special flowers and shrubs to reflect this. They would often place them near cult temples and mortuary temples. Areas leading up to the temples were lined with spiritual trees (some of which are mentioned above)
The Chinese have continued their huge interest in garden landscapes for more than 2,500 years. Similar to the Egyptians, they see their gardens as being spiritual and harmonic. There were two major philosophies that came from early China; Confucianism and Taoism were essential components of the design and layout of any Chinese garden landscape. Confucianism was said to be the “art of living” and was said to influence the structure of their landscapes. Taoism is seen as the “law of nature” and is known for its main purpose of garden structuring and designing.
Chinese gardens were perhaps well known for their built up approach, they would often dominate their landscapes with large rockery and would squeeze them into tight spaces in and around the garden. They would often give an onlooker a sense of harmony due to the pure beauty of the landscapes they had formed.
Hidcote Manor Garden
Hidcote Manor Garden is one of the most famous garden landscapes in England. Situated in Gloucestershire, Hidcote Manor is well known for its collection of rare trees and shrubs.
The landscape’s creator, Lawrence Johnston, later sold the popular garden landscape to his mother who later began to lay out key features of the garden.
The impressive garden landscape covers over 10.5 acres, the majority of the garden slopes down to a small stream before rising back up to a valley with a long strip of land. The garden is recognised by its gazebo and circular pool situated in the centre of the landscape. The pool itself is surrounded with beautiful white roses. Attractive shades of green hedges and trees can be seen around the edges of the garden.
Over the last 20 years the garden itself has been a huge tourist attraction for many people all over the world.
The Italian Renaissance garden
The Italian Renaissance garden emerged as a popular style of garden in the fifteenth century in Rome and Florence. These landscapes were inspiring; many viewers would enjoy the wonderful sights and smell of the gardens. Gardeners often used mathematical approaches to the layout of the landscape, focusing on geometric designs in a formal style. Among the early features of these gardens were hedges, groves of plane trees, clipped boxwood hedges, roses, laurel, pergolas, fountains, springs, or other water sources.
Later in the Renaissance the gardens would appear much larger and more symmetrical, and filled with large water fountains and scenic sculptures. These gardens were said to represent an outlook of nature and art, As a result, the gardens were a combination of natural landscapes and highly formalized areas.