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Monday, 23 March 2015

Garden

The earliest known decorative gardens were in ancient Egypt around 1500 BC.

In Ancient Persia, perfume was a sign of rank. In the backyards of homes belonging to the wealthy, one could find exquisite gardens holding jasmine, lilacs, violets, and the famous red rose.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were constructed by Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylonia to please his favorite wife, Amytis in around 570BC. Great terraces of masonry were built one on top of the other. On these were planted gardens of tropical flowers and trees and avenues of palms. They were irrigated by water pumped from the Euphrates River. Nebuchadnezzar and his queen could sit in the shade and look down upon the beauties of the city. They were one of the Wonders of the Ancient World.

Covent Garden was originally the market garden for the convent of Westminster Abbey. Referred to as "the garden of the Abbey and Convent", and later "the Covent Garden", it was seized by Henry VIII and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552.

Covent Garden on the "Woodcut" map of the 1560s, with surrounding wall marked in green

In the 6th century BC, King Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to please and console his favorite wife, Amytis. Great terraces of masonry were built one on top of the other. On these were planted gardens of tropical flowers and trees and avenues of palms. They were irrigated by water pumped from the Euphrates River.

By 1400 Domestic garden plots were common in even the most densely populated English cities, and almost always contained at least one fruit tree. Among the fruits grown were apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum and quince. Apples were often preserved in honey or sugar.

King Henry VIII created the The Privy Garden of the Palace of Whitehall, a large enclosed space in Westminster, London,in the mid-1540. It continued to be used as a pleasure garden by the Tudor and Stuart monarchs of England for the next 150 years.

The Privy Garden of the Palace of Whitehall had a screen installed to ensure that passers by would not see the King of England in his bathtub.

Queen Elizabeth I of England was fond of her gardens, which featured large portions of well-scythed and manually-maintained lawns. However, manually-kept lawns were the preserve of the very wealthy.in Elizabethan times.

William and Mary introduced the concept of house and garden with their rebuilt Hampton Court Palace Garden. When they arrived in England, the royal couple brought with them a team of Dutch gardeners and started a new, formal fashion in style. Queen Mary in particular was a very keen horticulturist.

Willam and Mary introduced a Dutch style of formal garden characterized by walks decorated by leaden statuettes and yew hedges clipped into fantastic shapes.

Willam and Mary lived mostly in Hampton Court and were not too put out when one of the maid servants they had bought with them from Holland set fire to Whitehall Palace and burned most of it down, including the privy garden.

Winston Churchill created with his own hands the garden walls, rockery and waterworks at Chartwell. (He was a fine bricklayer).

The world’s biggest garden is the Dubai Miracle Garden with over 45 million flowers in bloom.

The largest botanical garden in the world, Kew Gardens in London, England, is home to the most extensive collection of genetic plant material. They also employ more than 300 full-time staff in a medical research department.

Kew Gardens

Tyler, Texas contains the world's largest rose garden: 22 acres with over 38,000 rose bushes and more than 500 varieties of rose.

Source Mesopotamia by Britannica Educational Publishing

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