The Garden Landscape Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Horticulture in Spain

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2. Spanish Gardening, in respect to the Culture of Flowers, Plants of Ornament, and Botanic Gardens 513. The study of plants is of great antiquity in Spain. This study was introduced by the Arabs; there was a considerable collection of plants at Seville early in the eleventh century; and half the common plants of the country, Harte informs us, have names derived from the Arabic. The succeeding seven centuries present a blank in this branch of gardening history. According to Deleuze, the taste shown for botany in Spain and Portugal, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, declined with the sciences; and that country where they had been cultivated when the rest of Europe was in a state of barbarism, appeared to sink into apathy, after having shone with the greatest eclat under Charles the Fifth of Spain and Emanuel of Portugal.