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“Persian Garden”, Iran’s lost paradise

Up to 100 years ago the Persian gardens had preserved their ancient characteristics, but ever since then gradually and parallel with the alteration of viewpoints they distanced from their noble identity and now you can trace no sign of a new Persian garden, although their appearance has somehow been preserved, but no perfect sample, or even move for the revival of that forgotten paradise is seen.

According to IRNA Arts and Culture Desk, a Persian garden is the particular feature of a land that has always been fighting against draught. This rare gem dictates water scarcity’s rule in designing the architecture of the garden which gives the Persian garden a very special characteristic, but such Persian gardens as the Chehel-Sotun (40 columns) in Isfahan and Feen Garden in Kashan have also managed to preserve the special plantation texture of the Persian gardens. The important question here is, has any effort been made to revive the beautiful Persian gardens?

A good garden in a country like Iran is like paradise because the summers have the blazing sun and the winters have the dry chill weather with low precipitations. Water is not available everywhere and the cool pleasant weather by a water stream whose movement creates a nice song in a land that has always been fighting against draught, with trees whose shades spread on the lawn that embraces very fragrant rose plant and their scent flows in the air, passing over pools and waterways up to the central large pool cannot, but be paradise on earth.

It has often been said that paradise is the manifestation of all wishes and pleasant sights at once and the Persian garden is the manifestation of that and all the things that are less frequently seen in the vast expanse of the deserts and Sahara. Briefly speaking, a Persian garden is a heaven on earth of an Iranian citizen and his/her paradise. Surrounded with walls of mud and baked bricks, and under the hot such, on the other side, you find the umbrella of trees, beautiful roses, and stairway of pools whose water pours from one into another, singing joyfully together with happy sparrows.

The flowers in Persian gardens are planted by the feet of the trees, or under their shade, or by the side of the water streams and pools so that the moisture of them will keep the flowers fresh. The vast lawn areas seen in European gardens are not seen in Persian gardens, although today in Isfahan’s internationally well-known Chahar-Baq garden lawn covers all the vast flowerbeds, and there are not a noticeable number of flower bushes. This incongruity and lack of appropriate sighs of Persian gardens must be corrected and made harmonized with the Isfahan region weather and precipitations. The lawn needs a lot of irrigation and is inappropriate for Iran and the Persian gardens. Instead, clovers and alfalfa that can both be used as animal food and need little irrigation covered the Persian gardens.

Fruit trees, such as walnuts, pears, plums, almonds and trees with vast shades such as elms, certain types of palms and willows, very neatly rowed, or intensely covering a whole flowerbed with boughs that have joined hands among them, and spread their shades over pedestrian paths by their sides with a full sealing of leaves and roses, pansies different types of pasture roses and lilies are seen every whew under their shades.

In Kashan’s internationally famous Feen Garden IRNA spoke to Ms. Somayye Farhadi, the garden manager about today’s flower and tree design of the garden under her management. Cedar trees that have as of very old times and before the advent of Islam comprised the plantation of Feen Garden has always been considered holy and can even be seen in stone carvings of the Persepolis Palace, the designs of hand-woven cloths, and in Iranian architecture.

Farhadi said that cedars were originally brought from Shiraz, but now they are also known as Feen or Kashan cedars because of their large number in these places.

Feen Garden was constructed during the Safavid King Shah Abbas while 250 years later during the Qajar Dynasty era, Fathali Shah added a number of cedars and a number of elm trees, which are not the main plants in Feen.

IRNA also spoke to archeologist Ali-Reza Ja’fari-Zand about the characteristics of the Persian garden.

He says that the Persian garden preserved its special features up to about 100 years ago, but then the European garden making style entered Iran and prevailed.

Ja’fari-Zand said that the most ancient sign of the Persian gardens is found in Pasargadae Palace in the special residence of Cyrus the Great. The signs of the garden there has no difference with the Safavid era plantations or water bodies, he said.

The archeologist expressed regret that there is no tendency, or strategy for the revival of the beautiful and noble Persian gardens today, and the European gardens have instead been increasing with the passage of decades.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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