Throughout human history, when we settled in urban centers, nature has always been taken into account as an essential element. Both for decoration, inspiration and well-being.
If we focus on gardening, it begins with the desire to have a piece of nature close to us, either to beautify the home and / or to show it off . But when did we start designing gardens?
For millennia back in history, plants have always been grown for food and not for beauty or decoration. The first evidences that are had of the first ornamental gardens are in the paintings of the Egyptian tombs of the year 1500 BC
Back then the paintings represented art and human expression of beauty and inspiration. The paintings showed ponds surrounded by lotus flowers and rows of acacias and palm trees.
The most outstanding ancient gardens in the western world were those of Ptolemy , in Alexandria, and the fondness for this practice was brought to Rome by Lucullus . The influence of the gardens was spreading throughout the world and more and more were known and new techniques were being explored while new knowledge about plants and flowers was acquired.
The gardens of the Alhambra and the Generalife in Granada and the Patio de los Naranjos in the Mosque of Córdoba are two examples of this type of garden that were gaining more and more relevance in the modern world.
Examples of historic gardens
We can consider ourselves lucky, since gardens have arrived to this day that not only were designed well enough to withstand the passage of time, but also over the years those in charge of their care carry out their work in an excellent way. Thus, we find historical and well-preserved gardens practically all over the world. We recommend you visit these:
Alhambra (Granada, Spain)
The Gardens of the Alhambra are one of the oldest in Spain. They began to be built during the Nasrid period, during the Middle Ages (around 1238). They are part of a Monumental Complex made up of palaces and other buildings in the traditional Arab style.
Generalife (Granada, Spain)
In Granada, very close to the Alhambra, we find another historic garden: the Generalife. It was built between the years 1273 and 1302, and they were used by the royal family as an orchard but also for their personal enjoyment .
Alameda Central (Mexico)
In Mexico we can visit what is the oldest historical garden in all of America: the Alameda Central. Construction began in 1592, and it is a beautiful place with several parks and fountains , as well as, of course, numerous trees that provide shade.
Avenue of the Champs Elysees (Paris)
Although today it is a road through which motor vehicles circulate, in the past they were traveled by horse-drawn carts. And it is that they began to be built in 1640, planting a series of trees from the Louvre to the Tuileries Palace . As is the tradition in France and in many other countries of the world, a series of large statues embellish the place.
Hyde Park (London)
Hyde Park is one of the largest public parks in London. It was created in 1536, and occupies an area of 142 hectares . This place, where the Serpetine Lake and The Long Water Lake are located, has witnessed debates and speeches that would take place since 1872. Nowadays, however, it hosts other types of events, such as group concerts. musicals.
In the 13th century, gardening revived in Europe in Languedoc and the Ile de France and at the beginning of the Renaissance, Italian-style gardens emerged where, to the detriment of flowers, species of shrubs such as boxwood and myrtle were used, which were sculpted in various shapes.
Later on, the first public spaces with gardens and wooded parks began to be built for walks on foot and in horse-drawn carriages.
Finally, already in the 20th century, gardens have been introduced as part of the urban planning of cities . Gardens have always been of great importance to civilization and will continue to do so in the future.
Examples of modern gardens
Modern gardening and landscaping is a mixture of what was done before, and the desire to perfect what has been learned. On some occasions we see that they want to bring nature closer to humanity, but in other occasions they try to alter the landscape including statues, monuments and other artificial figures with the aim of demonstrating that humans can have control over nature (a somewhat misleading control, because humanity is part of it, and we need it to move forward. But this is another issue).
These are some of the most beautiful modern gardens:
Berlin Botanical Garden (Germany)
In the capital of Germany there is a Botanical Garden that was created between the years 1897 and 1910, although its origin dates back to 1573, when the gardener Desiderius Corbianus cultivated a large quantity of fruits and other edible plants in the Berlin city palace . It occupies an area of 43 hectares, and has about 22 thousand different species of plants, not only edible, but also ornamental.
Las Pozas (Mexico)
If there is a garden in which artificial elements combine strangely well in the middle of a tropical jungle, it is Las Pozas. It was created by the architect Edward James between 1947 and 1949, and if you go to visit it you will see that it is a surreal garden, with stairs, arches, and a series of figures integrated into the landscape.
Botanical Garden of Sóller (Mallorca, Spain)
»Sweeping for home» as they say in Spanish, I recommend that you visit the Botanical Garden of Sóller, in Mallorca (my island of birth and residence). It was founded in 1985 and opened to the public in 1992, and it is one of the best places to learn and enjoy the Mediterranean flora , both mountain and coastal. They also have representative plants from other islands bathed by the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, and other places (such as cacti whose species are native to America).
Botanical Garden of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)
In 2003 the Botanical Garden of Castilla-La Mancha was created, whose main objective is to investigate, conserve and make known the plants that grow in the Continental Mediterranean, as well as in other parts of the globe. It occupies an area of 7 hectares, and houses about 28 thousand plants , many of them in danger of extinction.
Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)
In Tenerife they have a botanical garden that covers an area of 12 hectares. The Palmetum was begun in 1995 and opened in 2014. It is therefore one of the most modern in Spain. In it mostly palm trees grow, of about 600 different species, but there are also other types of plants from different parts of the world .
Gardens are places where it is possible to disconnect. Some are even used to grow plants suitable for human consumption, something that is very interesting since it is a way to save money. What do you think of the gardens that we have shown you?