The Landscape Guide

Domestic garden

'Domestic' derives from the Sanskrit. damah, the Avestan demana,and the Greek. domos all meaning 'house'. A domestic garden is therefore a garden attached to a house.

The origin of domestic gardens lie beyond the reach of recorded history. Yet the oldest pictorial records of domestic gardens, from Ancient Egypt, show them to have been astonishingly similar to modern domestic gardens. The gardens shown in Egyptian tomb paintings were, of course, the gardens of the rich. Now that so many people are rich, we all want gardens like those of Egypt's pharoah's: with shelters, pools, shady walks, pergolas and plants growing in terracotta pots.

The accompanying photographs show 'modern' gardens in rural Egypt. They are perhaps as close as we can get to the domestic gardens of the ancient world.