The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Gardening in the Ancient World

Garden Towers

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26.A tower was a necessary appendage to an eastern garden, from the most remote era. Speaking of a vineyard, Isaiah says, �He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vines, and built a tower in the midst of it.� (Isaiah, v. 2.) Seven hundred years afterwards, the custom was preserved in the Holy Land; as in the parable of our Lord, in Matt., xxi. 33.; and again in Luke, xiv. 28. Marcus Lanatus tells us that the inhabitants of Ptolemais bent down the towers of their gardens to the ground, and removed the stones, upon the approach of the Tartars, A. D. 1260. Sandys saw many towers between Jerusalem and Bethlehem; and Maundrell mentions the same kind of edifices in his account of the gardens of Damascus; which confirms the description given by William of Tyre, of the gardens of the Levant in the twelfth century. Among the paintings found at Pompeii are some supposed to be of villas, each of which has its tower of safety hard by. Some of these towers are square, and one, has a shed or awning over the top, very similar to some of the towers in the buildings of the great painters. One marine villa has near it a round embattled tower which is surrounded by water. (Meason.)