10 Things you Didn’t Know About Gardening

If you’re feeling uninspired by your winter garden, these ten fun facts may reignite your fascination with the art of plant cultivation.

Did you know tulips were once worth more than gold in Holland?

Plants were first domesticated 10,000 years ago

They were cultivated by a Neolithic people in the Fertile Crescent of the Near and Middle East in around 8000 BC. Some of the first plant varieties thought to have been domesticated include wheat, barley, lentil, chick pea and bitter vetch.


There are more than 20,000 species of edible plants in the world

Despite this, just 20 species provide 90% of human food.


The legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built for the King’s homesick wife

King Nebuchadrezzar II allegedly had the sumptuous gardens constructed because his wife, Amytis of Media missed the mountains and greenery of her homeland. The gardens were supposedly 22 meters high and filled with blossoming flowers, ripe fruit, lush foliage, elegant terraces, gushing waterfalls and exotic creatures.

Let your weeds grow if you want to attract butterflies

As flower varieties continue to be bred for colour and size, they often lose their fragrance and nectar content. Because of this, butterflies often prefer common weeds like dandelions and clover. Growing flowers from heirloom seeds that haven’t been as heavily cultivated is the best way to strike a balance between appearance and butterfly appeal.

The Ancient Egyptians believed the gods loved gardens

To this end, most Egyptian temples have gardens nearby or surrounding them. The Egyptians cultivated quite an impressive array of flowers including daisies, cornflowers, irises, poppies and roses. Egyptians are thought to be the first people to cultivate purely decorative gardens in around 1500 BC.

Spiritualist and gardener Sir Charles Isham started the garden gnome trend in 1847

Importing the gnomes from Germany, he hoped the figures would attract real gnomes which were considered important elemental earth spirits with magical powers, knowledge of underground treasure, and involved in the hidden processes of plant life.


The first greenhouses were built to fuel a Roman Emperor’s cucumber habit

In AD 30, Emperor Tiberius wanted to eat a cucumber a day and ordered greenhouses to be built so the vegetables could be cultivated all year round.

During the Dutch Golden Age, Holland was gripped by a tulip mania  

The tulip was an exotic status symbol in Holland during the 17th century and at the height of the craze, bulbs were changing hands ten times a day and a purple and white striped bulb known as ‘the Viceroy’ could sell for between 3,000 and 4,200 guilders (a skilled craftsman at the time earned about 300 guilders per year).


One teaspoon of soil contains more microorganisms than people on earth

These microorganisms play an important role in keeping soil nutrient rich.


Plants will grow faster and larger if you play them music

Once thought to be an old wives’ tale, numerous studies have shown that vibrations can encourage plant growth.


A Better Driveway are established concrete driveway contractors based in Melbourne. If you need some help giving your winter garden a makeover with a decorative concrete path or patio, give us a call on 9308 6112.