All ancient Egyptian houses had gardens, in which they grew vegetables, herbs, and fruits for their own consumption. The most common types of garden produce were onions, leeks, lentils, chickpeas, beans, radishes, cucumbers, garlic, and castor-oil plants. Many gardens also had trees and vines that produced figs, dates, grapes, and, during the New Kingdom, apples and olives (which were introduced to Egypt by the Hyksos). Flowers were grown as well, even among the lower classes, because upon entering a home, a guest was customarily greeted with a garland of blossoms. The most common flowers in ancient Egyptian gardens were the lotus, chrysanthemum, and cornflower.
The upper classes usually arranged their gardens for beauty as well as practicality. Moreover, the rich often gardened as a hobby, as evidenced by the many scenes on royal and noble tomb walls that show the tomb owner enjoying his garden. According to such scenes, in gardens of the wealthy, canals were used to redirect water to ponds or reservoirs, where the water was stored until it could be carried in pots, buckets, or skins to whatever plants needed it. Most gardens of the wealthy had walkways shaded by rows of trees, such as sycamore, fig, date, palm, and pomegranate. Such walkways helped to divide the garden into sections, with each dedicated to a different purpose. The garden was usually separated into a vineyard, an orchard, a flower garden, and a kitchen garden; in some cases, there was an area for beehives as well. Herbs might also be grown in earthen pots beside the walkway. There might also be areas where poultry and domesticated animals were housed. In addition, homes of royalty or the highest-ranking nobility might have very large areas called paradises, intended as places to relax and/or hunt. Paradises usually had ponds stocked with fish and functioned as game preserves.