The Garden Guide

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

Persian Gardens

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V. Persian Gardens. B.C. 500 22. The Persian kings were very fond of gardens, even, as Sir John Malcolm tells us, their first king Mahabad. Xenophon says that the Persian gardens were cultivated for the sake of beauty as well as fruit. �Wherever the Persian king Cyrus resides, or whatever place he visits in his dominions, he takes care that the paradises shall be filled with every thing, both beautiful and useful, the soil can produce.� (Sir J. Mal., Persia; and Xen., Memorab., lib. v. p. 829.) The younger Cyrus was found by Lysander, as Plutarch informs us, in his garden or paradise at Sardis; and on its being praised by the Spartan general, he avowed that he had conceived, disposed, and adjusted the whole himself, and planted a considerable number of the trees with his own hands. (De Cyri Exped., lib. i.; Brisson, De Regio Persarum Principatu, p. 52., 8vo, 1595; Xenophon's �conomics; Diodorus Siculus, lib. xvi.; Plutarch in Vita Artaxerxis, &c.)