Ancient Roman Gardens is the first comprehensive account of gardens and gardening in the Roman period, creating a fascinating new dimension to our understanding and appreciation of life and society in ancient Rome, and adding an important chapter to the history of gardening and horticulture.
Linda Farrar traces the development of Roman gardens from their humble origins as vegetable patches to the sophisticated forms seen at the height of the Empire. She considers all types of gardens - domestic and public, in town and country, large and small in scale - and her study features evidence from gardens in Italy and from sites throughout the provinces of the Empire. Literature, frescoes, mosaics and extensive archaeological research provide information which is brought together to give a vivid account of the rich variety of Roman gardens.
Recent research has revealed much about the garden plants favoured by the Romans, and the text describes how these plants were used - for garlands, to make wines, cordials and foodstuffs, to provide nectar for honeybees. The many architectural features and sculptures so beloved of the Roman gardener are also covered, as are the habits of Roman gardeners, their tools and horticultural techniques.
Ancient Roman Gardens will appeal strongly to anyone who has a keen interest in ancient history and archaeology, as well as to classicists and art historians. It will also be fascinating reading for gardeners in general, for landscape gardeners in particular, and for all garden historians.