This large fresco covered the entire back wall of an outdoor dining room, creating the illusion of a lush garden populated with birds. The central niche may have framed a fountain. Pompeii’s climate favoured outdoor living and people sometimes dined in their gardens. A covered path along the garden’s perimeter allowed people to walk in the shade during the heat of the day. An abundant supply of water, fed by a complex system of aqueducts, gave rise to garden fountains, pools and canals. These enabled many types of plants to thrive — flowers, shrubs, fruit and nut trees, and vines.