English landscape garden

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The English landscape garden (also English landscape park , English garden or English park for short ) is a landscape garden (landscape park), the shape and style of which developed in England in the 18th century. Within the history of garden art , it emerged as a deliberate contrast to the previously dominant French-style baroque garden , which forced nature into geometrically exact forms.


Pagoda in the Royal Botanic Gardens , Kew, England
Wilton House Park in Wilton , England

In contrast to the French-style baroque gardens with their large, geometrically laid out flower beds ( parterres ), there are hardly any flowering plants in the classic English landscape gardens. The idea of ​​the English garden was to eliminate the previously existing mathematical rigor of the precisely laid out beds and trimmed hedges and to orientate the garden design more towards what nature ideally has to offer in terms of views. It was supposed to reflect the principle of a natural landscape , which should bring pleasure to the beholder's eyes through different and varied impressions in the sense of the ideal of a "walk-in landscape painting". Despite a desired “naturalness”, an English garden is a work of art that is based on the aesthetics of a landscape painting of ideal landscape painting , artists such as Claude Lorrain , Nicolas Poussin and Gaspard Dughet were decisive . In this sense, landscape gardens offer “picturesque” views. The creation of such a park landscape in Great Britain was also due to the intensive grazing in the vicinity of the early industrialization there .

The English landscape gardens are separated from the surrounding landscape by ditches that are invisible from a distance or sunken walls, known as ha-ha . The English landscape architect William Kent used the Ha-Ha as an invisible design element in his spacious garden plans. This was first introduced into garden design by Charles Bridgeman . It is a ditch that separates the actual garden from the adjoining landscape without seeing a transition. In this way, the nearby garden was visually merged into a single unit with the landscape further back, without larger fences, walls and hedges disturbing the view.

To accentuate the horizon , ancient temples , later also Chinese pagodas , artificial ruins , grottos and hermitages (hermitages) were placed in the landscape. An early model for original staffage buildings is the Mannerist Park of the Sacro Bosco in central Italy, created between 1552 and 1585, which in turn was based on ancient models such as the Villa Adriana , which also inspired the Renaissance and Baroque gardens. Instead of straight canals, round basins and cascades , which one could admire in the baroque garden from the geometrically precisely laid out paths, there were varied paths and rivers winding through the landscape in the English garden. Lancelot "Capability" Brown created gardens (or rather parks) with wide lawns, lavishly winding paths, freely winding rivers and natural-looking ponds and lakes, between which rows of suitable trees or smaller forests were planted. Often the paths were also built slightly sunk so that they could not be seen from the side from other paths and looked like undisturbed lawns. This free implementation of nature in the garden had a long tradition , especially in Japanese gardens , since the 8th century.

A phenomenon of the 18th and early 19th centuries were the decorative hermits , professional hermits who lived in specially arranged hermitages for a contractually agreed period and who showed up at certain times of the day in order to entertain the owners of the parks and their guests with their sight. Towards the end of the 18th century, Neo-Gothic buildings also came into fashion, under the influence of Horace Walpole , who also wrote a book on English gardening (Essays on Gardening 1794).

The idea of ​​the English garden was also imported into neighboring countries in a modified form. Examples from Germany are the English Garden in Munich designed by Friedrich Ludwig Sckell and the Rombergpark in Dortmund or the Georgengarten and the Hinübersche Garden in Hanover . Christian Cay Lorenz Hirschfeld , whose theory of garden art appeared in five volumes between 1779 and 1785, led the introduction in Germany . He influenced, for example, Carl Heinrich August Graf von Lindenau (1755–1842), whose park in Machern is one of the earliest English gardens in Germany, even if certain ideas still go back to the garden ideals of sensitivity . The further development of landscape architecture on the European continent owes much to the “garden prince” Hermann von Pückler-Muskau .

Examples of landscaped gardens


Doric temple in the Gotha Castle Park
Monopteros in the English Garden in Munich
Park of the Villa Haas in mind




Stourhead Garden in autumn


Jardin des Plantes in Angers





Czech Republic


sorted alphabetically by author

  • Julia Berger, Uta Hassler, Kilian Jost: Constructed mountain experiences - waterfalls, alpine scenery, illuminated nature . Hirmer, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-7774-2579-5
  • Julia Burbulla: The Principle of Life. Nature and science in the early landscape garden in Germany. In: The garden art . Vol. 21, No. 1, 2009, pp. 99-116.
  • Adrian von Buttlar : The landscape garden. Garden art of classicism and romanticism. DuMont, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-7701-2088-4 .
  • Günter Hartmann: The ruin in the landscape garden. Their significance for early historicism and romantic landscape painting (= Green Series. 3). Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 1981, ISBN 3-88462-007-X (at the same time: Bochum, University, dissertation, 1980).
  • Alfred Hoffmann: The landscape garden (= history of German garden art. Vol. 3). Broschek, Hamburg 1963, (Reprint: Koeltz, Königstein 1981, ISBN 3-87429-196-0 .
  • Kilian Jost: Rock landscapes - a building task of the 19th century. Grottoes, waterfalls and rocks in landscaped gardens. Dissertation, Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-00-053146-0 .
  • Heinz-Joachim Müllenbrock: The English landscape garden of the 18th century and its literary context. As a public lecture of the Joachim-Jungius-Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften held on November 5th, 1985 in Hamburg (= publication of the Joachim-Jungius-Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. 54). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1986, ISBN 3-525-86219-9 .
  • Eduard Petzold : Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau in his work in Muskau and Branitz, as well as in his importance for the visual garden art in Germany. A biographical sketch resulting from personal and correspondence with the prince. Weber, Leipzig 1874.
  • Andrea Siegmund: The landscape garden as a counterworld. A contribution to the theory of the landscape in the field of tension between Enlightenment, sensitivity, romanticism and counter-Enlightenment. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8260-4612-4 (also: Munich, Technical University, dissertation, 2010).
  • Andrea Siegmund: The romantic ruin in the landscape garden. A contribution to the relationship between Romanticism and Baroque and Classical periods (= Foundation for Romantic Research. 22). Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2002, ISBN 3-8260-2347-1 (also: Munich, Technical University, diploma thesis, 1999).
  • Andrea Siegmund: Four types of ideal landscape or games with a tetrahedron. In: Laufen special contributions. 1, 2011, ISSN  1863-6446 , pp. 14-17.
  • Andrea Siegmund: The ambiguity of the images in the landscape garden. In: Thomas Kirchhoff, Ludwig Trepl (ed.): Ambiguous nature. Landscape, wilderness and ecosystem as cultural-historical phenomena. transcript, Bielefeld 2009, ISBN 978-3-89942-944-2 , pp. 163-177.
  • Frank Maier-Solgk, Andreas Greuter: Landscape gardens in Germany. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-421-03143-6 .
  • Ana-Stanca Tabarasi: The landscape garden as a model of life. On the symbolism of the “garden revolution” in Europe. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8260-3753-5 .
  • Kerstin Walter: The picturesque. The theory of the English landscape garden as a building block for understanding contemporary art (= Benrath writings. 2). Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 2006, ISBN 3-88462-236-6 (also: Bochum, University, dissertation, 2004).

Web links

Commons : English gardens  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Adrian von Buttlar: The landscape garden. Garden art of classicism and romanticism. DuMont, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-7701-2088-4 .
  2. Wolfgang Diez, Helmut Röttig: Sondershausen. Pictures and stories; Declaration of love to a city. Image archive Röttig, Sondershausen 2000.
  3. Website for the Green Fields Park