Given current events, and the way my mind works, I typed “Egyptian Gardens” into google this morning. Interestingly I discovered something I was previously unaware of — and which will certainly be something I am looking forward to knowing more about.
There is a style of laying out a garden as well as an uniquely interesting way of depicting the garden on paper (or on tomb paintings) related to ancient Egyptian gardens. Researching around I have already learned that the most wealthy Egyptians tended to live in ‘Garden Homes’ where the house and gardens flowed together in a way where garden spaces were as much a part of the homes function as the sheltered buildings.
From this website:
“Many depictions in tombs show what might be the standard garden: Typically, a symmetrical layout was used with a rectangular or T-shaped pond in front of the house on the main longitudinal axis. This garden would then be surrounded by rows of trees of various species, possibly alternating in the same rows. It was not uncommon to find a pergola bordering the main alley along the axis or surrounding the pond. It should be noted that many times these ponds were stocked with fish, and at times included exotic examples. Fruit trees have their leaves or branches supported on the trelliswork of the pergolas. The shortest species of trees are planted nearest the pond, while the tallest, such as doum palms and date palms, are in the outside rows. This arrangement provided a graded perspective about the centre of the garden.”
I am thoroughly enjoying the way that these symmetrical gardens where drawn. Like a painting, and always from a bottom up perspective, I also enjoy the way that the trees to the sides splay out as if someone literally flattened the garden from the center out.
If you, like me, are curious to know more about some of the first designed gardens, check out Garden Visit, where there is a lot of historical information about the symbolism and plants that were used. I particularly found this article interesting about the possibility of Sennufers garden (the oldest designed garden) being re-created. Also – as usual, wikipedia has some interesting information on Early Egyptian, Persian and Roman Gardens.