Use: The oldest domestic gardens are astonishingly similar to modern domestic gardens and were used in similar ways: for relaxation, outdoor eating, childrens’ play and the cultivation of beautiful and edible plants. Knowledge of these gardens comes from Egyptian tomb paintings, made so that pharaohs could enjoy in the after-life similar comforts to those they had enjoyed in the eaarthly stage of their existence.
Form: Private dwellings, like temples, were rectangular enclosures bounded by high walls. The geometry of garden compounds appears more symmetrical than that of temples but, since there are no physical examples, this may be no more than artist’s license. Regularity comes naturally to the artist and is less likely to appear on the ground, except when gardens are made with paper plans and surveying equipment. Egyptian domestic gardens were places for bodily comfort, with fruit trees, flowers, pools, pot plants, vine-clad pergolas and places to sit, in winter sun or summer shade.