Is there a tradition of using "Garden" to mean stadium?

I’m thinking of Madison Square Garden (sg.) Boston Gardens, and Maple Leafs Gardens, to be exact. A garden, as best I know in modern usage, is a thing of dirt where you grow flowers and veggies 'n junk. Very technical and precise definition, I know.

However, having done a bit of sleuthing, I notice that the origin of the word is referring to the “enclosure: it is from Middle English gardin, from Anglo-French gardin, jardin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gard, gart, an enclosure or compound, as in Stuttgart. See Grad (Slavic settlement) for more complete etymology. [3] The words yard, court, and Latin hortus (meaning “garden,” hence horticulture and orchard), are cognates—all referring to an enclosed space.[wikipedia:garden]”

My question: between 1879 (opening of the first MSG), and say, the Middle Ages, is there a consistent usage of “Gardens” in this non-botanical sense, or did re-emerge out of nowhere in the nineteenth century? The closest I can think of is the Vauxhall Gardens in Britain, but those legitimately had trees and shrubs and greenery.

Thanks in advance to anyone who would like to tackle this etymological enigma! :slight_smile:

Kindergarten–from the German tradition of [del]keeping children in small pens until they were smart enough to escape and attend proper school.[/del]

On dog forums, I notice in the UK they talk about keeping the dog in the garden. I am not sure if they mean any yard, or a fenced one.

From years of watching stuff on BBC America, I gather that Brits use garden to mean the space that Americans call their yard (front yard or back yard).

“In the garden” is fairly standard usage here for “in the front/back yard”.

I could probably do up a whole lesson on how garden is derived from the same early German term that led to yard, which meant an enclosure. And a garden was not just an enclosure but became known as one open to the public.

But that’s not the way history works.

Madison Square is where Broadway intersects Madison Avenue. There was a park with gardens there before they built the original arena.

Madison Square Garden

And then the imitators.

Boston Garden

Madison Square Garden is (like the Holy Roman Empire) a triple misnomer: it’s not on Madison Ave, it’s not square, and it’s not a garden.

Another garden arena is the Rose Garden in Portland. It’s not to be confused with the real Portland rose garden, officially known as the International Rose Test Garden. The “Garden” in the name was “borrowed” from MSG and the Boston Garden, so this is evidence of a tradition of sorts.

In Britain, if you say you have a back yard, people will assume that it is paved or asphalted over (and, probably, that you are too poor to live in a house with a proper garden). If it has grass and (optionally) flowers (or even vegetables), it is a garden.

As a kid it bothered me that Madison Square Garden wasn’t, itself, square. It was a couple of years later that I read an article about it and learned that it was called that because it was on Madison Square. Duh.

Of course, it’s still a misnomer – neither the Garden I knew as a kid nor the present one that replaced it aren’t on Madison Square, either, although the first two were.

Again, when I was a kid, it bothered me that the place I spent several pre-school hours was called a “garden”, when it was a really a confined little hardwood-floored room on the second floor of the school.

You would think that Madison Square Park would include Madison Square Garden, but no. It has a nice Shake Shack, though.

MSG and Portland’s Rose Garden are a few of the only major sports arenas/stadia without corporate sponsorships. Since corporate sponsored arenas are the norm, using garden to mean arena might be a dying tradition.

Any Torontonian will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Maple Leaf Gardens was named as such because it is located in Toronto’s Garden District, itself named after old Allan Gardens.

And, slight nitpick on the OP: in Boston, the word Garden is, like in New York, used in the singular form.

At one point, the Bronx Zoo was known as the Bronx Zoological Gardens. source: link to a New York Times article from 1911 (NOT a PDF)

(Actually, I always thought that was its official name. Only just now, in researching this question, did I go to their website to find I was wrong.)

Yes, true that. Zoological gardens. That’s still an extension of “plot of dirt flora and fauna.” Gardens in the Sens of MSG and MLG appears to draw upon a far older usage, (seemingly) out of nowhere.

As I think about it, the official; name of many zoos is ____Zoological Garden

I lived three blocks from Madison Square for several years. There is a very nice park there—Madison Square Park. There is not, and I don’t think there ever was, a garden (as in flowers and such) associated with the square or the park.

I was under the impression that the first incarnation of Madison Square Garden contained a type of bar called a beer garden. I know the second incarnation (at the same location, but designed by Stanford White) did, although the name obviously came from the first MSG, and not from that beer garden.

Wikipedia is your friend… (emphasis mine)

Data point: There’s a very well-known cricket stadium in Kolkata, India, called Eden Gardens. I’m not quite sure where the name comes from, though.

I knew that, but I wasn’t going to let an inconvenient fact get in the way of a pithy comment.

A double misnomer just doesn’t cut it.

You’d have to be seriously out of touch to imagine that a name obviously copied from NY would last long in Boston.