The Garden Guide

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

Turkish garden design

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I. Gardening in European Turkey, Greece, and Albania, as an Art of Design and Taste 527. The modern taste for gardens in Turkey is materially influenced by the national character, and the nature of the climate. Gardens of taste are considered places of shade, repose, and luxurious enjoyment; not of active recreation, or a varied display of verdant scenery. 'For some miles round Adrianople,' Lady M. W. Montagu observes, in 1717, 'one sees nothing but gardens. The rivers are bordered with fruit trees, under which the citizens divert themselves in the evenings; not in walking, which is not a Turkish pleasure, but in seating themselves on a carpet spread on the turf, under the thick shade of a tree; there they take coffee, and smoke, amidst vocal or instrumental music, groups of dancing females, and other sports.' The gardens at Adrianople, Hobhouse observes, are filled with poplars and fruit-trees, and rise in terraces on the sides of hills mixed with flat-roofed houses. (Travels in Albania, &c. p. 135.)