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A Brief History of Landscaping

Despite the skepticism of its origins, the earliest recorded example of landscape design is said to be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon from the 6th century BC. But how has the ever-evolving ‘landscape’ of landscaping history changed and affected us today?

Early Era History of Landscaping

Beauty and aesthetic function evolved from there, with ancient Japanese gardens designed to facilitate meditation and spiritual connection and ancient Chinese gardens designed as both reflective and social spaces featuring both living (landscaping) and non-living (hardscaping) elements. Even then, landscaping design isn’t said to have been popularized until it reached the ancient Romans!

Middle Age and Renaissance

Landscaping and gardens were fairly exclusive to the estates of lords in the Middle Ages, requiring a lot of space for land while the large majority of serfs were lucky to have their small parcels of land with a personal vegetable garden. Leisure was only beginning to become accessible to the general public, restricting the growth of landscaping innovation. Landscaping design as we know it today was revived by France and England in the 17th century, growing alongside cottage-style landscaping design. Post-renaissance, the opulence of the Baroque era added statues, fountains, hedges, and designs customary to French chateaus of days gone by, combining hardscaping and landscaping for a coherent vision.

19th and 20th Century Landscaping

As the great shift of population from rural landscapes to cities became apparent, there was a growing need for beautiful, natural spaces and in the end of the 19th century, Frederick Law Olmstead answered that need. He became known as the father of American Landscape Architecture, incorporating laws into building design, influencing the beautification of Washington DC, Central Park, city planning Chicago and Cleveland, and founding the American Society of Landscape Architects. Because of his efforts, landscaping architecture, today plays a large role in urban design and planning along with home design essentials.

Outdoor spaces have meant different things to people throughout history and around the world. From ancient Asia to contemporary America, landscaping is still going strong despite the current focus on residential landscaping. Bring history to life with Mountain Road Landscaping’s landscaping, hardscaping, and maintenance services!