A review of many Hellenistic cities presents a clear picture regarding the attitude of the citizens in these cities to gardens. It turns out there were no gardens in the courtyards of the private houses and that they were paved. The Greek perception did not favorably view the tending of gardens that were of no benefit to the private houses because they were an ostentatious expression of power and wealth and a mark of social degeneration. The Roman government brought with it a completely different perception regarding the essence of gardens and their planning. The private Roman garden is a delightful garden full of ornamental plants of no benefit, and fountains and statues whose purpose was to beautify the home. Almost every house has a garden in Pompeii, Herculaneum and other cities in the western empire.
An examination of the courtyards of the private homes in the cities in the Land of Israel during the Hellenistic and Roman periods is likely to shed light on the concept of the role of the garden in the eyes of the local and foreign residents during these periods.
In the Hellenistic period there are private houses with paved courtyards in the different cities in the Land of Israel. This lack of gardens coincides with what we expect to find in the courtyards of the homes in the Hellenistic period. An examination of the courtyards of the Early and Late Roman periods in the different cities reveals a clear picture: the courtyards were still paved; many of them were impressive peristyle courtyards, but without a garden.  It seems that the choice in changing the attitude toward the garden and courtyard is not connected to different character of the residents of the city, their economic ability or the aspect of water. The decision to forego the garden is based on cultural considerations which places the Hellenistic perception ahead of the Roman one. This contention is further reinforced by the fact that the only Roman garden identified so far in an urban home in the country was the house of the Roman procurator in Caesarea, who was the representative of the Roman government and Roman culture in the country.