Gardening is a much evolved hobby for many people today. From basic activities like growing plants to an elaborate system that is more ornamental than functional, gardening has come a long way. Having changed many faces, gardening had very humble beginnings. Let’s look at the history of gardening, the most therapeutic hobby today:
The oldest form of gardening was forest gardening done during the prehistoric times where the families that lived near any sort of plant life started to identify the important plants and started preserving them. These plants were preserved and protected while the unwanted ones were allowed to perish. With time, plants from different areas were also brought to the same place close to the family so that they could be tended to as well.
Around 1500 BC when the first civilizations came into existence, the rich began to create gardens mainly for decorative purposes. There were ponds; there was a lot of focus on horticulture and the landscape design, there were even symmetrical rows of palms and other trees that added to the beauty of the gardens. There was a lot of symmetry and planning with which the colors and sizes of the plants were managed to give an ethereal look and feel to the gardens. This is the time around which the Hanging gardens of Babylon were made, and are a wonder of the world today.
Around 350 BC, the gardens built were very extensive and had a lot of water attachments and features. There were topiaries, shaded arcades, and cultivated flowers that were brought in from different places to add a charm and exquisiteness to the gardens. The gardens were used by the owners to walk in, to visit when they wanted to think or just to relax, or even if they wanted to take a stroll with their beloved or with a visitor. A lot of time and effort was put into tending these gardens and they were normally very big, big enough to cover the area for a small supermarket.
The gardening traditions were kept alive till after 4th century AD by when a new way of gardening had emerged in China and had moved to Japan. This new way of gardening involved tiny landscapes, that were centered around ponds and also in the Zen gardens of the various temples.
By the 13th century, the gardening techniques from the ancient Roman villas were rediscovered and changed to meet the lifestyle of the current civilization. This gave rise to the Italian Renaissance garden towards the 16th century. This is around the same time when public parks made their first appearance. Before the 16th century, there were no public parks, the bigger gardens were for the rich and the not so rich could have a small patch or container plants in and around their houses.
The following two centuries saw a lot of experimentation where many enthusiasts tried to find the right way to create a garden and finally the 20th century saw a big change in terms of eco-friendly practices like rainwater harvesting, green roofs, and sustainable design practices that dominate the way gardening is done today. If you would like to read more about the history of gardening, you can do so at greenthumbguide.net by clicking this link.