From the earliest of times people have sought to grow and nurture plants in a garden area. Gardens and Gardeners of the Ancient World traces the beginning of gardening and garden history, from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, to the Minoans and Mycenaeans, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, through Byzantine, Islamic and Persian gardens right up to the Middle Ages. It shows how gardens in each period were designed and cultivated. Evidence for garden art and horticulture is gathered from surviving examples of ancient art, literature, archaeology, actual period gardens that have survived the centuries and the wealth of garden myths associated with certain plants. These sources bring ancient gardens and their gardeners back to life, and provide information on which plants were chosen as garden worthy, their setting and the design and appearance of ancient gardens. Deities associated with aspects of gardens and the garden's fertility are featured – everyone wanted a fertile garden. Different forms of public and domestic gardens are explored, and the features that you would find there; whether paths, pools, arbors and arches, seating or decorative sculpture. The ideal garden could be like the Greek groves of the Academy in Athens, a garden so fine that it was comparable with that of the mythical king Alcinoos, the paradise contemplated by the Islamic world, or a personal version of a garden of Eden that Early Christians could create for themselves or in the forecourt of their churches. In general books on garden history cover all periods up to the present, often placing all ancient gardens in one chapter at the beginning. But there is so much of interest to be found in these early millennia. Generously illustrated with 150 images, with plant lists for each period, this is essential reading for everyone interested in garden history and ancient societies.