The Garden Guide

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

Jewish Gardens

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IV. Jewish Gardens. B.C. 1500 20. Of the horticulture of the Jews we know little; but, like that of the eastern nations in general, it was probably then, as it still is in Canaan, directed to the growing of cooling fruits, to allay thirst, and to moderate heat; aromatic herbs, to give a tone to the stomach, and wine, to refresh and invigorate the spirits. Hence, while their agricultural produce was wheat, barley, rye, millet, lentils, and beans; their gardens produced cucumbers, melons, gourds, onions, garlic, anise, cumin, coriander, mustard, and various spices. Their vineyards were sometimes extensive; Solomon had one at Baalhamon which he let out at 1000 pieces of silver per annum. (Cant., viii. 11, 12.) Vines were raised from seed (Jeremiah, ii. 21.); and it appears probable that the Jews were aware of the effects of one flower being impregnated by the pollen of another; for Moses says (Deut., xxii. 9.), �Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.�