Recently Jessica Venner (@missjlvenner) tweeted about gardens in Pompeii and this included a fantastic image you can see below.
The photo shows a replanted garden in Pompeii with Vesuvius looming beyond. Much of Pompeii is couched in what was unearthed and discovered. The gardens, however, allow us to see Pompeii from another perspective. Venner has spent time researching and publishing papers on market gardens in Pompeii (38 identified so far). These were an important part of Pompeii, the fertile soil allowed for a variety of crops to be grown in and around it.
According to Venner productive gardens accounted for 9.7 per cent of space in Pompeii. In these broad beans, cherries, almonds, walnuts and figs are cited as being cultivated. Gardens weren’t just aesthetic green spaces but important to the local economy (as well as dinner table).
I find this insight fascinating, it furnishes us with an alternate perspective on Pompeii. Gardens in antiquity are sometimes overlooked – in a previous post I wrote about the possible link between Priapus and the humble garden gnome.
If you wanted to travel down a more familiar association Pompeii has I also recorded a podcast on how Pompeii met its fate with a stage by stage explanation. Less cheery than a nice garden sadly.
The Cultivation and Sale of Local Produce in Pompeii, Jessica Venner.
Photo from https://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/pompeii_gardens