My recent travels were in Spain, where I enjoyed the Mediterranean, walking, food, wine and historical sites along with gardens. I was struck by the importance of water, both in modern times and for the ancients. Both the Romans (2000 years ago) and the Moors (1000 years ago) left aqueducts and irrigation systems for the people of the Iberian peninsula. As I toured some palace gardens and the royal botanical garden, I also was reminded that gardening just for the beauty of it is definitely a luxury. The peasants in ancient times were thankful for a little land for vegetables and medicinal herbs, but flowers were a luxury for the palace.
The picture at the bottom is the orange grove courtyard at the cathedral in Sevilla, the grid lines you see in the picture are irrigation channels from the mosque courtyard that stood on this site before the Christians regained control (religious history would be a whole other blog post).