Sipping the Feels: Garden Therapy – A Natural Stress Reliever

Even when a person stops and takes a moment to enjoy a plant’s beauty, they feel better. By Siobhan SearleAuthor and Environmentalist Introduction Society’s downward spiral continues, and with it go my spirits. As the chaos of the global pandemic persists, it has become harder to step away from the fear and uncertainty and take[…]

Food and Medicine in Medieval Monastic Gardens

Each type of garden had its own purpose and meaning, including satisfying medicinal, food, and spiritual needs. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction A monastic garden was used by many people and for multiple purposes. Gardening was the chief source of food for households, but also encompassed orchards, cemeteries and pleasure gardens, as well as providing plants for[…]

Hortum Domus: The House Garden in Ancient Rome

Roman gardens were built to suit a range of needs and activities. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview Roman gardens and ornamental horticulture became highly developed under Roman civilization. The Gardens of Lucullus (Horti Lucullani), on the Pincian Hill in Rome, introduced the Persian garden to Europe around 60 BC. It was seen as a place of peace and tranquillity, a refuge from urban life, and[…]

The Medieval Garden of the Humble Administrator in Suzhou, China

Designed at human scale, Chinese gardens are meant to be comfortable, intriguing, and pleasing at every turn. Introduction Extensive gardens are recorded in China from the third century B.C.E. onward. The scholar’s garden is often considered the most complete expression of the Chinese garden, especially in the late Ming (1573-1644) and Qing dynasties (1616-1911). These[…]

Gardens as Pleasurable Microcosms: Comparisons and Connections

Wealthy patrons, like kings and emperors, often commissioned prominent artists and architects to design their gardens. Introduction Art is designed for a great many purposes, but much art is also, if not exclusively, designed to provide and reflect a sense of pleasure. A palace might be intended to display the power and wealth of a[…]

The Complexity of Hieronymous Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’

This garden is so vast and rich as to enclose within it many forms of pleasure not generally associated with pleasant strolls in gardens. Introduction The Garden of Earthy Delights is Hieronymus Bosch’s most famous work, and justly so. It is massive (more than twelve feet wide), riddled with an almost impossible-seeming level of detail,[…]