It is becoming increasingly more common to see garden ponds in modern homes. Homeowners love to spend time around their aquatic gardens watching the fish swim or enjoying the tranquility of the still water. Today, water gardens are for esthetic purposes and to create a relaxing space where folks can escape from the bust world around them but in ancient times water garden were used for other purposes as well.
Water gardens were once used to store fish for the families to farm throughout the year. Today we often have fish on our aquatic gardens but they are pets and not a food source. It has been discovered that among the many things people used water gardens for in the past was to store fish. Families that lived 5 or 6 miles from the coast could not access fresh fish brought in by the fish men with ease. Instead of making constant trip back and forth tom the water, in a time when people traveled by horse or often on foot, the people would buy large quantities of live, smaller fish at the market and bring them back home to their water gardens. The fish would then grow and procreate and the families would harvest them as needed throughout the year. The more affluent families would have larger water gardens and would have larger supplies of fish.
Another fascinating use of the water garden was as a source of drinking water. Before modern pluming was available, people would use plants to filter water and make it drinkable. Many of the ancient homes had water gardens in them with rudimentary pond pumps installed in them to extract the water for drinking and cooking. The water gardens worked so well because when the rains came, the ponds would fill and the plants which were grown in the pond, especially for their filtration properties, would provide a constant source of clean drinking water. Sometimes larger scale garden ponds would be constructed in city plazas which could cater to the water needs of people in the city who paid a small tax to the owner of the pond.
Even further back, water gardens were a place for people to come and worship their gods. Since water is such an important figure for man, many ancient civilizations took special care to constantly have water near them. People would come to their water gardens to give thanks for success in their crops or to ask the higher powers to deliver rain. Some South American natives still have something similar to a garden pond in their homes where they perform blessings and where they come to join man and woman in marriage.
While today, the garden pond has lost some of its practical and religious meaning; it still remains a place where people can come for peace and relaxation. The modern water pond also provides a source of green life in an otherwise concrete world. When looked at with a different perspective, in many ways, the modern water garden is still a source of spiritual calm for man.