Despite - or perhaps because of - much of the region's dry climate, gardens have a long history in South Asia. Ancient texts tell us of gardens at early Buddhist and Hindu temples, while Mughal gardens and the colonial botanic gardens remain much visited. Today gardens are taking on new roles in conservation and poverty relief.

  Painting of a flower in a garden, 17th century Botanical illustration of a cotton plant Photograph of a coconut tree in Kew's palm house
Mughal gardens >
Gardens flourished under the Moghul emperors. Based on Islamic principles, gardens took on a distinctively Asian feel.
East India Company >
From 1800 onwards, the East India Company supported botanic gardens. These sent and received plants around the world.
Conservation >
Today gardens are at the forefront of plant conservation. Medicinal plants are threatened by over-harvesting.