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Death, Time And Temporality, Order And Plenty, The Lost Home, Garden As Paradise And Enclosure.Gardens in the History of Ideas

The term garden, which is of Germanic origin, means "yard" or "enclosure" and denotes ways of organizing earth, water, plants and, sometimes, people, animals, and art (sculpture, architecture, theater, music, and poetry), the formal qualitities of which are determined as much by pleasure, artistry, or aesthetics as by convenience or necessity. This definition excludes arrangements of sacred space based on religious customs and sports, exclusions that are consistent with most societies.

Not all cultures have gardens. For many reasons, anthropologists and garden historians consider most small cultivated plots to be forms of agriculture, as opposed to gardens. Gardens presuppose agriculture but in addition embrace a cultural and psychological distance from agriculture expressed in aesthetics.

Gardens in the History of Ideas

Gardens have the capability to give physical form to ideas either by being modeled on familiar ideas or by creating a new design that generates or evokes new ideas, or through a combination of the two. Gardens make abstract ideas concrete—visible, tangible, and kinesthetic. In so doing, gardens can communicate complex abstract ideas convincingly.

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