Home Garden Design: A Short History
Apr 18 2012
Almost as far back as when civilized people first moved out of caves and into man-made homes, they have enjoyed decorating their outside living space with purposely planted trees, flora and other ornamental growth. Once mainly an activity of the wealthy, home garden design has evolved over the years from enormous landscapes that required a large staff to maintain to smaller and simpler, but no less beautiful, home gardens that may be enjoyed by anyone.
The history of home garden planning and landscape design reveals insight into the world’s political and social histories as well. You can discover a lot about what was happening at a particular point in history and the people living at that time by looking at their gardens.
Ancient Garden Design Styles
In the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome and Greece, gardens were usually large, elaborately planned spaces. Most were tied to either religious buildings or the homes of royalty. The most common types of garden during ancient times are discussed below.
Garden Design from the Renaissance to the mid 19th Century
A number of different garden styles and designs characterized this period of time. Often, style, size and function were influenced by the garden’s geographic location, its owners’ social status and considerations of what was popular at the time. Sometimes, popular garden styles overlapped in time. The most common are explained below.
Garden Design in Modern Times
In more recent times, garden design became less about the owner’s wealth and status and more about personal preference and a desire to get back to nature. Gardening became an acceptable pastime for all social classes and even modest homes could boast a garden that featured beautiful flowers, interesting plants and even edible items.
More and more in modern times, gardens became an extension of the home, with outdoor areas designed to encourage outdoor games, leisure activities and friendly gatherings. Larger gardens often included both planned and “wild” areas that allowed owners to display various collections of plants, outdoor art, and sections dedicated to the growing of vegetables and fruits for eating. While the largest estates might still employ an outdoor staff to maintain the landscape, most garden owners spend at least some time working the land themselves.
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