Gardens come in many sizes, colors and varieties. Although most contain plants that produce root systems in topsoil, hanging gardens contain varieties of suspended plants. Since ancient times, hanging gardens have appealed to individuals and societies. The unexpected sight of plants growing overhead can entice and delight visitors. While some famous hanging gardens appear naturally in certain geographic locations, others are the result of human design, extensive planning and careful upkeep.
A famous garden of the ancient world, Babylon's hanging gardens now hold only ancient ruins. Although the display of plants in the hanging gardens of Babylon no longer exists, many visitors travel great distances to see this famous, historical landmark. According to Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., King Nebuchadnezzar constructed this garden for his Median wife. Built on stone archways, the height of this garden ranged between 30 and 70 feet. Scholars believe that a variety of plants grew there, including grain and large trees.
Located along the Colorado Plateau in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, natural hanging gardens flourish along cliff walls and in alcoves and glens. These overhead plants receive their water supply from small, underground springs that speckle the area. The combination of warm sunlight and cool water provide the ideal conditions for the area plants. Many types of water-loving plants thrive in Glen Canyon's hanging gardens. These gardens contain about 35 species of endemic plants. Ferns, orchids, sedges and lilies hold tightly to cracks and indentations along the sides of the cliffs and slopes.
Known as the Hanging Gardens of Paddington, this blossoming basket hangs from the side of a London hotel. Measuring 20 feet by 10 feet, this huge basket contains more than 100 types of flowers and plants. Inspired by the famous Babylonian gardens, this floral display required weeks of work by designers, engineers and gardeners. It took eight hours to winch this blossoming basket to its height of 25 feet above the ground. Moss gerberas, roses, ivy and conifers are among the many plants this hanging garden contains. The hotel plans to alter the hanging garden's décor to keep the display matching the changing seasons.