The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Royal gardens of Mexico

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904. The royal gardens of Mexico and Tezcuco, and those of the lords of Iztapalapan and Huantepec, have been much celebrated. One, belonging to the lord of Iztapalapan, was laid out in four squares, and planted with great variety of trees, through which a number of roads and paths led; some formed by fruit-bearing trees, and others by espaliers of flowering shrubs and aromatic plants. It was watered by canals, and had in the centre a fish-pond four hundred yards in diameter, where innumerable waterfowl resorted. Hernandez says this garden contained many foreign trees. The garden of Huantepec was six miles in circumference, watered by a river, planted with numerous species of trees and plants beautifully disposed, along with pleasure-houses. Many foreign plants were cultivated, and every kind of medicinal plant belonging to that clime, for the use of the hospital which was founded there. Cortez, in a letter to Charles V., in 1522, told him that this garden was the most extensive, the most beautiful, and most delightful, which had ever been beheld. Bernard Diaz and other authors concur in the same opinion. The Mexicans paid great attention to the preservation of woods, which supplied them with timber and fuel. (History of Mexico, vol. i. p. 379.)