Guide to Fairy Gardening: A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, or enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature
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Gardens may exhibit structural enhancements including statuary, follies, pergolas, trellises, stumperies, dry creek beds and water features such as fountains, ponds (with or without fish), waterfalls or creeks. Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, while some gardens also produce food crops, sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. Food-producing gardens are distinguished from farms by their smaller scale, more labor-intensive methods, and their purpose (enjoyment of a hobby or self-sustenance rather than producing for sale). Flower gardens combine plants of different heights, colors, textures, and fragrances to create interest and delight the senses.
Western gardening had its origins in Egypt some 4,000 years ago. As the style spread, it was changed and adapted to different localities and climates, but its essentials remained those of disciplined lines and groupings of plants, usually in walled enclosures. Gardening was introduced into Europe through the expansion of Roman rule and, second, by way of the spread of Islam into Spain. Though clear evidence is lacking, it is presumed that Roman villas outside the confines of Italy contained native and imported plants, hedges, fruit trees, and vines, in addition to herbs for medicinal and culinary purposes.
In medieval times the monasteries were the main repositories of gardening knowledge and the important herbal lore. Though little is certainly known about the design and content of the monastic garden, it probably consisted of a walled courtyard built around a well or an arbor, with color provided by flowers (some of which, including roses and lilies, served as ecclesiastical symbols), all of which maintained the ancient idea of the garden as a place of contemplation.