Early 1500s - Culinary and Medicinal Gardens
Gardeners in the early 16th century grew  flowers which had practical uses.  People did appreciate beautiful flowers, but the beauty was incidental to the plant's usefulness.  Flowering plants provided medicines and were used in cooking.  Some were used as moth-repellents and to dye fabric.   At this time, many well-known flowers (including tulips, sunflowers, and marigolds) had not yet been introduced into Europe.
Large Turf by Albrecht DurerStar of Bethlehem by Da VinciPlants with petals or leaves in groups of three were associated with the Holy Trinity.  These were sometimes planted because of their religious significance;  visitors to the garden would be reminded of God.  Strawberries (three leaves) and violets (three petals) are featured prominently in the Unicorn Tapestries and in illuminated manuscripts.

Medieval botanical illustrations were often pictures of fanciful "plant monsters" which had human or animal parts.  Artists based their illustrations on descriptions written by ancient Greek and Roman scholars.  In the early 1500s, botany began to develop into a modern science.  Artists began to draw plants based on direct observation, instead of written descriptions.  Along with other artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer created accurate and beautiful botanical illustrations.
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