chapter  31
12 Pages

GARDENS

ByWilhelmina Jashemski

Gardens had an important place in the life of ancient Campania. Approximately626 have been found in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the surrounding villas, preserved by the eruption of AD 79.1 Gardens were associated with many public buildings, and even with tombs (cf. Cormack, Ch. 37),2 but the most were found in homes. The garden was the heart of the house, whether large or small, furnishing light, air, and ease of communication to rooms opening onto it. It was a place of work and play, a place to cook, eat and worship.3 A large house might have three or more gardens, a small house perhaps only a tiny light well that contained plants. These gardens differed greatly not only in size, design, function and plantings, but also with respect to the role of water, sculpture and garden furniture.