THE GARDENS OF SHIRAZ
Shiraz in ancient times possessed large and pleasant gardens, which unfortunately, through the revolutions and invasions of the past centuries, have disappeared, and of many of them nothing but their name in history remains.
The natural situations, the equable climate and the sunshine in Shiraz caused such gardens to of travelers this is confirmed by the statements in past centuries, such as John Fryer, who came here in 1672, and writers as follows:-
«In our stay we had opportunity to the observe Shiraz, not only by fame, but indeed to be, second to none, except the royal city in the whole Empire. The stately gardens and summer-houses are out of the town, whither resort those invited either by curiosity or recreation; the most famous of which we visited, under whose shady bowers we were feasted from the heel of every day till midnight. Among which, that, honoured with the royal claim, and therefore styled the King’s Garden, deservedly carries the lustre from the rest, and though everyone share in some excellency or other, yet this comprehends them all in one, being a large map of the whole. Here grow the loftiest cypresses in the universe. The nightingale, the sweet harbinger of the light, is a constant cheerer of these groves, charming with warbling strains the heaviest soul into a pleasing ecstacy. »
Among the numerous Shiraz gardens a few that are larger and older are here referred to: – Bágh-i-Delgushá (the exhilarating garden); Bágh-i-Eram (the Garden of Paradise); Bágh-i-Afífábád (the Garden of the Abode of Chastity), sometimes called Bágh-i-Gulshan.
The Bágh-i-Khalílí also is a newly-laid-out garden which on account of the keen interest of its owner, Mr.Muhammad Khalil Khalili, who is one of the well-known horticulturists of Iran, is as far as the variety of its flowers goes, one of the best and most beautiful garden of Shiraz. The owner, who has excellent taste, has endeavoured, by spending much time and money, to introduce from other countries every kind of flower that might flourish in the Shiraz climate, and to grow and cultivate them here. And though the area of the garden compared with the number of the flowers and fruit-trees is small, and it lacks the spacious vistas of the Bágh-i-Eram and the Bágh-i-‘Afífábád, yet the plentiful display of flowers and fine fruit dispels this deficiency, and makes it a garden unique of its kind.
In the Bágh-i-Eram there are many cypresses, one of which in height and proportion is unexampled in its own field, and worthy to be called the King of Cypresses.