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Horticulture includes gardening, which is the process of growing and tending plants. Ornamental plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are cultivated in gardens for their flowers, foliage, or overall look; utilitarian plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are produced for eating, dyeing, or medicinal or cosmetic purposes.
Fruit orchards, extensive boulevard plantings with one or more varieties of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, residential back gardens with lawns and foundation plantings, and container gardens planted inside or outside are all examples of gardening. Gardening may be quite specialist, with just one type of plant planted, or it can be very broad, with a range of species grown in mixed plantings. It entails direct participation in the plant-growing process and is labor-intensive, which distinguishes it from farming and forestry.
The world’s oldest kind of gardening is forest gardening, which is a forest-based food production method. Prehistoric forest gardens arose along jungle-clad river banks and in the damp slopes of monsoon areas. Useful tree and vine species were found, conserved, and enhanced as families gradually improved their immediate environment, while unwanted species were destroyed. Foreign plants were eventually chosen and placed into the gardens.
Wealthy folks began to develop gardens for aesthetic purposes when the first civilizations emerged. Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings from the New Kingdom (about 1500 BC) portray lotus ponds flanked by symmetrical rows of acacias and palms, providing some of the oldest tangible evidence of ornamental horticulture and landscape planning. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, are a noteworthy example of ancient decorative gardens, while ancient Rome had hundreds of them.
Ancient Egyptians who were wealthy utilized gardens to provide shade. Trees and gardens were connected with gods among the Egyptians, who believed that gardens delighted their gods. Ancient Egyptian gardens were frequently encircled by walls with rows of trees. Date palms, sycamores, fir trees, nut trees, and willows were among the most common species planted. The presence of these gardens denoted a better social position. Furthermore, affluent ancient Egyptians planted vineyards, as wine was seen as a symbol of better social status. Roses, poppies, daisies, and irises were all common flowers in Egyptian gardens.
Assyria was known for its exquisite gardens as well. These were often wide and big, with some being used for hunting wildlife (similar to a game reserve today) and others serving as leisure gardens. Trees such as cypresses and palms were among the most commonly planted.
In Kush, there were also gardens. The Great Enclosure at Musawwarat es-Sufra, which dates from the 3rd century BC, contained magnificent gardens.
Acanthus, cornflowers, crocus, cyclamen, hyacinth, iris, ivy, lavender, lilies, myrtle, narcissus, poppy, rosemary, and violets were among the flowers found in ancient Roman gardens, which were surrounded by hedges and vines and included statues and sculptures. In the patios of wealthy Romans, flower gardens were popular.