A Short History of Gardens celebrates gardens' many practical and aesthetic functions. Gardens take many forms, and have a variety of functions. They can serve as spaces of peace and tranquillity, a way to cultivate wildlife, or as places to develop agricultural resources.
Many gardens have inspired great artists, poets, musicians, and writers. Professor of Renaissance Studies Gordon Campbell discusses iconic gardens from history, including the gardens of Suzhou, the temple garden of Nikko, the Medici gardens around Florence, the Escorial and the Tudor gardens at Hampton Court Palace.
Campbell also discusses the future of the garden in terms of global warming and the adaptive spirit of human innovation.