Xenophon, a Greek who wrote
in the period between 430 and 354 BCE, was
the first to describe
pleasure gardens, paradeisos, giving us the familiar word
king... finds gardens wherever he goes. They are called paradeisos,
and are filled with all the earth brings forth that is good and
gardens of Cyrus the Great
It is no surprise to a gardener that all of the
world’s great religions locate heaven in a garden; nor that
word paradise has come to refer to a garden, to the Garden of
Eden, to heaven, and to an ultimate state of bliss.
The Old Persian pairidaeza, an enclosed place, was
envisioned as having cool shade and flowing water, pavilions and
fruits. It was a chahar bagh, a garden (bagh) divided into
four quarters (chahar). This geometrically symmetrical garden
soon found its way to Greece, and then to Rome. With the Roman
settlement of Britain, it came to the British Isles as well.
But before the Romans arrived
in the British Isles, as traders or as conquerors, the Iron Age
Britons were gardening.