The Landscape Guide

Asian Gardens Design and History

The term Asian Gardens includes West Asia (Middle East), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), East Asia (China and Japan) and South East Asia.

Additional info on

Eurasia's oldest gardens

The world's oldest gardens were made in the Fertile Crescent, in West Asia, which runs in an arc between the countries which are now Iraq and Egypt. As a crossroad for peoples and cultures, this region, now called the Middle East, both exported and imported garden design ideas. Islamic gardens drew from the ancient culture of Mesopotamia, from Iran and from Byzantine (Graeco-Roman) civilization of the west.

The influence of Africa and Central Asia on garden design

The influence of Africa and Central Asia on the development of garden design can be assumed but, because their societies had no need of literature, there are few records of their ancient cultures and technologies. Unless and until further information comes to light, it seems reasonable to base our theories about how garden design developed in the ancient world on the following hypotheses:

  • Homo sapiens sapiens brought beliefs, language and techniques 'out of Africa' and they had a profound influence on the rest of the world, including animist beliefs and the use of tools
  • The culture of Central Asia influenced cultural and technical developments in West, East and South Asia, including the Indo-European cultures of Europe, Iran, Turkey and the Indian Sub-Continent

Gardenvisit content on Asian gardens:



West Asian Garden Plan Mesopotamia

South Asian (Indian) garden plan

East Asian (Chinese) garden plan

East Asian (Japanese) garden plan. These style diagrams are from Tom Turner's book Asian Gardens: History, beliefs and design (2010)