In Greek mythology the Hesperides are nymphs who tend a beautiful garden, belonging to the goddess Hera. In the garden grows a tree, given to Hera by Gaia (Mother Earth) as a wedding gift. The tree produces golden apples that, if eaten, bestow immortality. The dragon Ladon guards the tree, set there by Hera to ensure that the nymphs do not steal the apples for themselves. Ladon is said to be serpent-like, and is usually shown coiled around the tree. In some versions of the story he has one hundred heads.