Our present set of ideas as to what constitutes a garden has long roots back into history. As far as we know gardening started quite independently in two different places – Egypt and China.
Egyptian gardens were based on irrigated small land holdings in the desert and Chinese Gardens were based on Imperial Hunting Parks. These two sources started two diametrically opposite traditions that can be termed as formal and informal; the straight edge and the flowing; the architectonic and the naturalistic.
Until the beginning of 18th century the Egyptian tradition had no influence on east of India. Then suddenly the English started gardening in the Chinese way. There is no direct evidence of influence. However, it is hard to believe that there is no direct link waiting to be discovered.
Though these two styles reigned supreme after the late 18th century there was greater emphasis on the horticulture aspect or variety in plants rather than on design. Where layout is concerned, the departure from the styles mentioned is only the abstraction of garden design as in painting and sculpture especially that of Picasso, Moore and Mondrian.