In the Roman family the authority was represented by the father, and he would decide the arrangement of the garden in several parts, each of which intended for different tasks. In fact, in the garden there was one section used for the cultivation of fruit trees, another used for the evergreen plants, one intended solely for the cultivation of rose (considered flower of love and hope) and finally the part where the other flowers were cultivated, especially violet and carnations.
In the garden there were decorative elements like temples and verandas, but more important was the presence of water which also had a symbolic meaning: ancient Romans viewed water as a necessity of life and also as a thing of beauty. Water, as in all Mediterranean gardens, is essential: archaeological excavations have never brought to light gardens without an irrigation system. Water also becomes an important decorative element and the scene is embellished with statues, porticoed temples, nymphs and fountains.
We find still pools of water, simple bubbling basins, and elaborate tiered creations. Cato the Censor, Varro, and Columella wrote treatises on agriculture, recognizing the importance of water within the garden. In 160 BC, Cato the Elder, who wrote ‘De Agri Cultura’ recommended the right quality of land for the best farming: a place “on the foot of a mountain, looking to the South, in a healthy situation … well watered, near a good sized town, and either on the sea or a navigable river.”