This beautifully illustrated book presents a unique history of how people have worked with nature throughout history. For ancient peoples, gardens were home to spiritual and divine beings. This idea that gardens were sacred places continued into the European Middle Ages.
Since the seventeenth century, however, nature has been seen increasingly as a physical resource to be exploited. Changes in gardening styles reflect this development, including the creation of grand garden terraces and landscapes such as Versailles, whose purpose is to impose human values, aesthetics, and order on nature.
More recently gardening has become a more conscious art form intended to enhance nature’s inherent beauty. Drawing on garden examples from ancient Egypt to Monet’s Giverny, Jeremy Naydler asserts that gardening can be regarded as a sacred art—a means of connecting human beings with nature and the Earth in a truly spiritual way.