History of Roman Garden
Roman gardens became most popular during the development of Roman civilization. The Gardens of Lucullus (Horti Lucullani) on the Pincian Hill started the Persian garden to Europe, around 60 BC. The garden was a site of peace and tranquility – a resort away from urban fast life – and a spot filled with religious and symbolic manifestations. As Roman culture grew and became importantly influenced by offshore civilizations through trade, the development of gardens widened and gardens eventually thrived in ancient Rome.
Roman gardens were dominated by Egyptian, Greek and Persian gardening methods. Formal gardens were prevalent in Egypt as early as 2800 BC. In the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, gardening methods were completely developed and decorated the homes of the affluent people. Porticos were designed to relate with the home in the outdoors and developed outdoor living spaces. Persian gardens took shape according to the requirements of the arid land. The gardens were fenced to guard from drought and were fertile compare to the dry and arid Persian terrain. Pleasure gardens came into being from Greek farm gardens, which worked as the functional purpose of growing fruit.
Design of Roman Garden
Private Roman gardens were more often than not, divided into three parts. The first part was the xystus which was a terrace used as an open air drawing room and linked to the home through a covered portico. The second part was lower garden which was called as ambulation. The ambulation had variety of plants, trees and flowers along with other foliage and worked as an ideal location for a leisurely stroll post meal, some slight conversation, or other Roman recreation events. The third part gestation was a sheltered avenue where the owner of a home could ride horse or can also be carried by his slaves. It usually encircled the ambulation, or was built as an individual oval shaped space.
Architecture of Roman Garden
Romans are believed to have been the first ones in Britain to introduce gardens for recreation and entertainment purpose. They also initiated to grow plants for ornamental purposes and not simply for the purpose of eating. The garden was a prominent part of the house and would often be facilitated as an outdoor dining and entertaining site. Gardens were enclosed by walls or often encircled by the house, developing a central courtyard.
Romans used garden embellishments, for instance statues (specifically of gods), busts, urns, and sundials. Water source of fountains were developed in the garden, generally in a rectangle or a semi-circle shaped. Pergolas were constructed to offer shade and were an attractive feature and architecture with vines or roses climbing up.
Arbours and dovecotes were also part of gardens. The Aegopodium podagraria is considered to have been discovered by Britain by the Romans as a salad crop. After lapse of centuries Roman gardens highly influenced the Italian renaissance period in the 15th and 16th century.