‘A balm for the soul’: How we made the Cambridge mosque garden

It is no accident that green is the colour of Islam – it is the colour used in the Quran repeatedly to describe the gardens of paradise, where the faithful recline on “green cushions” in “green shade”.

Not only is it the colour of all vegetation, symbolising growth, fertility and hope, but it is also the antithesis of the sandy-browns of the stony desert; a longed-for soothing and gentle relief to the eyes.

Islam was born in the desert: in 6th century Arabia, the Prophet Muhammad was raised among one of the nomadic desert tribes. As far as is known, there is no history of gardens as we understand them in Arabia during this period: a date palm tree and water – the oasis – was a garden.

“Reciting Poetry in a Garden”, an early 17th Century tile panel from Isfahan, Iran (Creative commons/Rogers Fund, 1903)  Read More 


The Art of the Islamic Garden, by Emma Clark, is published by The Crowood Press 

 Landscape Architecture 

Middle East Eye