Gardening is fun. Furthermore, gardens are pretty. Some gardens also produce fruits and vegetables. Not very long ago, production of fruits and vegetables was more of a priority for more gardens. Some big gardens generated firewood and a bit of forage for livestock. Contemporary abundances allowed gardening to become more aesthetic than utilitarian.
Such abundance may not seem so apparent while so many in our society could benefit from a bit more. People work more than ever to earn resources to purchase produce that they cannot grow in their gardens while working so much. It has become more feasible to do so. Landscape maintenance is just another expense that many would prefer to eliminate.
Nonetheless, some popular features within modern home gardens evolved from formerly utilitarian features. Many such utilitarian features were common within the infrastructures of home gardens prior to the development of any modern technology that replaced them. Some were popular only because such technology was either expensive or uncommon.