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Garden of a workers' apartment , Textile Museum Bocholt
Baroque gardens of Melk Abbey
Japanese garden in Cowra , Australia

A garden is a distinct piece of land where plants or animals from people in cultural taken and thus maintained are (cultivated). In contrast to parks , gardens are mostly used privately.

Gardens are not only created to harvest a direct yield ( kitchen garden ), but also to serve an artistic , spiritual or therapeutic purpose, or for leisure and recreation, such as ornamental and allotment gardens .

Etymology of the word garden

The German term garden is etymologically derived from Gerte ( Indo-European gher and later ghortos , with which Latin hortus is related). This refers to willow , hazelnut rods or other crops that used to be intertwined and enclosed the garden that was originally located near the house. The word gerd , gard refers to gothic garde " enclosure ", garda "pen" originally "the (with whip) fenced area", while the area surrounded by a living fence can be found in the word field Hag , Hecke . The Dutch word tuin for garden (cf. German fence , Old Norse tún ) goes back to a similar development.

Medieval depictions also show walled gardens. In this field of terms there is an Indo-European root cart (o) " protection ", which in Latin hortus "kitchen garden", French jardin "garden" (German but hoard ), ahd. gard , gart , old Norse garðr ("courtyard", "dominion", compare Asgard , Midgard ) in English. yard ("courtyard"), skand. gaard ("courtyard", " homestead ") and slav. grad (" castle ", "fortification", " enclosure "), indirectly also the guard ("guard", "protection force") as well as in proper names on -gard / t ( Luitgard , Irmgard , Eringard ).

The term on which the word is based in its current form is "enclosed land for the purpose of growing plants". The garden was under special legal protection ( garden peace ). Toponyms on -gard / t (en), -gad (en) are derived from this context, but are mixed with the Old High German word gadam " Gadem ", "Raum", "Gemach", "Scheune" ( Berchtesgaden ).

The conception of a garden is different in every culture, however, Western garden definitions and concepts should not be carried over without examination. See also Garden of Eden and Paradise .

Garden types

Garden (spring), illustration from the Tacuinum Sanitatis from the 14th century
Small ornamental garden ( Naturland Foundation Saar , Saarbrücken)

In addition to the form of a mixed garden that is often found today, which combines many (i.e. mixed) aspects, a distinction is made in Europe depending on the main use

Ornamental gardens can be public or private, fenced or accessible.

A large garden that is created and maintained not (only) for profit purposes but as an aesthetic object is a park , even if the word “garden” has been retained in the name of such systems, as in the English garden . Aesthetically designed gardens and parks are named after


In a garden one uses useful plants , in particular:

Ornamental plants are another group . A distinction can be made between types:


The articles Garden # History and History of Garden Art overlap thematically. Help me to better differentiate or merge the articles (→  instructions ) . To do this, take part in the relevant redundancy discussion . Please remove this module only after the redundancy has been completely processed and do not forget to include the relevant entry on the redundancy discussion page{{ Done | 1 = ~~~~}}to mark. SK ( discussion ) 23:42, Feb. 21, 2013 (CET)


It is assumed that prehistoric cultivation areas were very small until the introduction of the plow and were worked intensively with hoes or the like. Amy Bogaard therefore calls this type of cultivation horticulture .

Horticulture in Ancient Egypt

Horticulture was already practiced in prehistoric times, as shown by the rock tombs of Beni Hassan ( Egypt ), in which images of gardens were found.

Beginnings of horticulture in the Middle East

Persian garden

The hanging gardens of the mythical Queen Semiramis in Babylon are only known from Greek descriptions.

The garden in early Greece

Gardens may have already existed in Minoan times, as seal images and frescoes suggest. From Homer's Odyssey , a cohesive, regularly divided fruit (and probably also vegetable) garden is known. Homer's Odyssey never describes eating fruit and yet for the poet pears, pomegranates, apples, figs, olives and of course grapes make up a well-planned orchard , a garden that would produce fruit for a long time in the year:

In addition to the courtyard, there is a large garden near the courtyard door.
Four mornings, surrounded by a fence on all sides.
Large trees stand in lush growth,
apple trees with shiny fruits, garnets and pears
and also sweet figs and fresh, green olives.

Fruit never spoils for them, nor is it missing in winter or summer.
Throughout the year, but the constant western breath drives
some out and lets others ripen.
Pear on pear ripens there and apple on apple,
but also grape on grape and fig on fig.

Homer, Odyssey 7,112

Sappho describes an irrigated tree garden.

Plutarch states that Kimon planted trees in the Athens marketplace. At the Hephaestus Temple there , planting holes for trees have been archaeologically proven.

Beginning of horticulture with the Romans

Illustrations (frescoes and mosaics), texts and the results of archaeological excavations are available as sources for the horticulture of the Romans. 625 gardens have been excavated in Pompeii . Wilhelmina F. Jashemski has excavated other gardens in Tunisia and Algeria, for example in Thuburbo Maius . She also excavated the 13 gardens of Poppaea's villa on Via Sepolcri in Torre Annunziata ( Oplontis ). An plants were, inter alia, oleander , laurel and lemon tree (Citrus limon [L.]) detected. Roman flower pots have also been archaeologically proven.

The natural history of Pliny is one of the most important written sources . In addition to food and medicinal plants, he also mentions ornamental plants. Cicero , Ovid , Martial and Pliny the Younger describe gardens.

In Roman literature one meets from the end of the 1st century BC On a denser garden discourse. The garden became a mirror of the intellectual attitude and thus the social self-image of its owner. For the stoic Seneca , sophisticated gardens are a sign of increasing decadence . The Romans separated kitchen gardens (vegetable and fruit gardens) from the pleasure garden . However, the Latin word hortus denotes both small private kitchen gardens and the surroundings of imperial villas and publicly accessible areas. Roman houses in Italy usually had an atrium in which plants grew. However, atria are absent in other provinces such as North Africa.

Pleasure gardens

Peristyle of the House of the Vettiers , Pompeii (reconstruction)
House of Fountains in the Museo Monográfico de Conímbriga

Pleasure gardens became possible when an adequate and constant supply of water was ensured in larger centers. Among other things, they were also used for dining. The peristyle courtyard came to Rome from Greece, and the little house gardens that had been common up to that point were disappearing. The wealthy created larger garden ensembles in which fountains, canals, grottos and statues were artfully coordinated with one another and formed a harmonious whole with villas. Rooms that looked into the garden were provided with large windows and small gardens were optically expanded with illusionistic garden motifs on walls, and, conversely, gardens were projected into the rooms by means of wall painting.

In the 2nd century BC The Romans took over the peristyle , an inner courtyard surrounded by porticoed halls, from Greek-Hellenistic architecture and developed the garden peristyle from it, in which the porticoed halls surrounded a garden. In Conimbriga in the Baetica , the garden of a Roman villa , the Casa das fontes, was excavated and reconstructed. He illustrates such a system: a rectangular pond is surrounded by a pillared hall made of bricks. In the pond, on either side of the longitudinal axis, there are three islands made of bricks and planted with irises . A mosaic forms the floor. According to Attlee, elements of this garden were taken up again in Portuguese villas of the 17th and 18th centuries, for example in the Jardim Alagado des Jardim do Paçco in Castelo Branco and in front of the Casa do fresco in the garden of the Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira in Lisbon , but they do rather due to Moorish influence.

Many villas had several peristyle, often a paved living area based on the Greek model and then a larger garden peristyle. The garden of the Villa dei Papiri near Herculaneum in Italy has been reconstructed in the Getty Museum . This villa had two peristyle, the larger one was about 100 m long and 37 m wide and surrounded by 25 × 100 columns. In the middle is a 66 m long water basin. The garden was used to erect numerous statues.

The profession of gardener ( topiarius , from Greek topos ) is from the second half of the 1st century BC. Known. Arrangements of shrubs and the cutting of plants into shapes and figures, the so-called opera topiaria ( topiary ), came up.

Municipal gardens

Gardens of all kinds also loosened up the cityscape. They included temple gardens as well as gardens near taverns. Even graves were sometimes provided with gardens. Gardens were needed in the city to allow sufficient light into the buildings. The residents of the insulae (multi-storey houses) often had to be content with a view of the gardens of others; sometimes smaller green strips were created in front of the buildings.

The garden in the European Middle Ages

Baroque garden of Dornburg palaces
Terrace garden of the Rococo castle, Dornburg
Baroque garden Great Garden (Hanover)

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the undefended possessions of the nobles in Italy were plundered and devastated; the land was only cultivated for the most essential needs, especially for food.

A preliminary stage of the garden in Europe was the “house land”, a special property of the Germanic peoples protected by a fence or similar. A part of the land used for cultivating the fields for food supplements developed with increasing knowledge of fruit and herb cultivation in the 8th and 9th centuries. Century to the medieval garden.

During the reign of the Popes in the 8th – 12th centuries In the 19th century, the monks were almost the only ones who (as in the Benedictine monasteries ) engaged in agriculture and (in the monastery garden) with horticulture to secure their economic independence. The rich and powerful donated large areas of land to them with servants and rewarded their work as farmers and gardeners. Foreign plants were also imported from the Orient, especially by wealthy Venetians and Genoese .

The following types of garden existed in the Middle Ages:

  • Kitchen garden (cultivation of food, provision of plants as food)
  • Medicinal garden (cultivation of plants for medicinal purposes, similar to a herb garden )
  • Patrician garden (mixed form of kitchen garden and medicinal garden, supplemented by ornamental plants )
  • Cloister garden ( ornamental garden that corresponds to the vita contemplativa and promotes contemplation )
  • Lustgarten (garden surrounded by a wall with design elements to delight the senses)
  • in literature: fantasy garden ("literary garden", "ideal pleasure garden")

However, the boundaries between the different types were also fluid. For example, food plants, which were also thought to have a medicinal effect, were also used to prepare medicines.

Early horticultural specialist literature available in German-speaking countries was provided by Petrus de Crescentiis (around 1305) and the author of (Tractatus) De plantatione arborum (around 1200) and around 1350 by Gottfried von Franken from Würzburg


In the beginning of its history, France's horticulture knew only what was purely useful, only slowly rose to the attention of flowers, and only very late achieved aesthetically beautiful things; every pleasant and useful product of agriculture and horticulture came from abroad, from the Greeks, Carthaginians , Romans and Saracens . Charlemagne encouraged arable, fruit and wine growing in every way, he loved the gardens and gladly gave his gardeners behavioral orders. He was on friendly terms with the Abbasid caliph Hārūn ar-Raschīd , through whom he is said to have received the best vegetables and fruits.


The Netherlands are known for flower growing (bulbs), tree nurseries, and fruit and seed growing for trade. The Dutch garden style was the forerunner of the baroque gardens in the 17th and 18th centuries and also influenced French garden architecture. Manor houses were often created surrounded by hedges, flowers, arcades and canals. The flat landscape favored the regular planting of beds.

The Victorian Garden in England

In the 19th century, when the bourgeois sphere dominated art and culture, the rare plants were loved. The gardeners became hobby botanists and created themed gardens with Australian, South American or Asian plants, for example, which plant hunters all over the world collected. The collecting of rare species became more important than the artistic design of the landscape. For example, rhododendrons , camellias and azaleas found their way into the gardens. Topiaries , that is, bushes and trees cut into shape, were also particularly popular . In the garden of Levens Hall you feel as if you are in an oversized toy land, so the cube-shaped, conical and spherical hedges dominate here. In the city gardens, special attention was given to the flower borders, which are now popular again, in which the flowers formed colorful ornaments.

The gardens of Women Gardeners such as Gertrude Jekyll or Elizabeth Sitwell , who orient themselves on the untamed abundance and simplicity of idealized cottage gardens, form a natural contrast to these very ornate gardens .

Botanical gardens

Botanical horticulture in Europe did not gain momentum until the 16th century, after the discovery of Mexico, and initially began in Spain. Gaspar de Gabriel , a wealthy Tuscan nobleman, founded the first botanical garden in 1525, which was soon followed by that of Cornaro in Venice, that of Simonetti in Milan, of Pinetta in Naples and others. In 1545 the Senate in Venice approved the construction of a public botanical garden in Padua, Pope Pius V had it established in Bologna , the Grand Duke of Tuscany in Florence , and soon afterwards almost every important city in Italy had a botanical garden. Botanical gardens were also laid out in France in 1597.

The garden as an ecosystem

Gardens can be important for biodiversity . Their diverse structures such as hedges, bushes, fences, heaps of branches or individual trees provide shelter and hunting grounds for insects , birds and amphibians . However, the type of garden plays a major role. Spruced up private gardens have a negative effect on biodiversity. This is the conclusion the national came bumblebee nest -counting in 2007 in England, scoured all the nests in the 700 volunteers in your own garden. It turned out that gardens with lots of messy areas tend to have more bumblebees. So it depends directly on the individual aesthetic perception of the owner whether a garden can serve as an ecological niche or not.

At least on paper, the knowledge of the benefits of structural wealth is reflected. One example is the guidelines for the owners of allotment gardens in Zurich. There it says explicitly:

"The creation and maintenance of near-natural habitats for animals and plants (e.g. meadows , local shrubs, wild hedges, fruit trees , wet and dry biotopes, small structures such as dry stone walls, piles of stone piles and others) is desirable."

A study from the USA showed that the willingness to engage in natural horticulture strongly depends on the appearance of the neighbor's garden. If this leads a cleanly cut lawn, you also feel obliged to do so. According to a study from Switzerland, species-poor gardens are generally rated as not aesthetically pleasing. The approval increases, however, the more colorful, species-rich and wild their appearance. At some point this rating will flip again; Completely chaotic gardens are rarely perceived as beautiful. The exception is the vertical garden, where a colorful variety is desired.

Mainly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the increased construction of gravel gardens , which essentially consist only of decorative stone surfaces and contain little or no natural vegetation, triggered increased criticism .

See also


  • Eva Berger: The modern garden design regards the garden as an extended apartment. In: The garden art. Volume 20, No. 1, 2008, pp. 47-82.
  • Maureen Carroll-Spillecke (ed.): The garden from antiquity to the Middle Ages (= cultural history of the ancient world. Volume 57). 2nd Edition. Von Zabern, Mainz 1995, ISBN 3-8053-1355-1 .
  • Friedrich Jakob Dochnahl: Bibliotheca Hortensis. Nuremberg 1861 ( digitized version) - Bibliography of German garden literature published between 1750 and 1860.
  • Anne Marie Fröhlich (Ed.): Gardens - Texts from world literature , Manesse Verlag, Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-7175-1836-4 .
  • John Harvey: Early gardening catalogs with complete reprints of lists and accounts of the 16th – 19th centuries. Phillimore / Chichester 1972.
  • John Harvey: Medieval gardens. Timber Press, Oregon 1981.
  • Dieter Hennebo : Gardens of the Middle Ages. (Hamburg 1962) Munich / Zurich 1987.
  • Walter Janssen , Ulrich WillerdingHorticulture and garden plants. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA). 2nd Edition. Volume 10, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1998, ISBN 3-11-015102-2 , pp. 449-462.
  • Walter Jannsen: Medieval garden culture. Food and recreation. In: Bernd Herrmann (Ed.): Man and the environment in the Middle Ages. Stuttgart 1986, pp. 224-243.
  • Hans Sarkowicz (ed.): The history of gardens and parks. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 2001, ISBN 3-458-34423-3 .
  • Wolfgang Teichert: Gardens: Heavenly Cultures. Stuttgart 1986.
  • Christopher Thacker: The History of Gardens. Translated from English by Dieter W. Portmann. Orell Füssli, Zurich 1979.

Web links

Commons : garden  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Garden  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: More wild nature through garden renaturation  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  1. See “culture” and “cult” from the Latin colere “ to cultivate”.
  2. ^ Rudolf Schützeichel: 'Village'. Word and concept. In: Herbert Jankuhn, Rudolf Schützeichel, Fred Schwind (eds.): The village of the Iron Age and the early Middle Ages: form of settlement, economic function, social structure. Report on the colloquia of the Commission for the Classical Studies of Central and Northern Europe in 1973 and 1974. In: Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class 3. Part No. 101 (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht) 1977, p 27.
  3. ^ Rudolf Schützeichel: 'Village'. Word and concept. In: Herbert Jankuhn, Rudolf Schützeichel, Fred Schwind (eds.): The village of the Iron Age and the early Middle Ages: form of settlement, economic function, social structure. Report on the colloquia of the Commission for the Classical Studies of Central and Northern Europe in 1973 and 1974. Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class, 3rd Part No. 101 (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht 1977) 35.
  4. garden, m. hortus. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 4 : Forschel – retainer - (IV, 1st section, part 1). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1878, Sp. 1388-1401 ( ).
  5. ^ Michel Conan: Learning from Middle East Garden Traditions. In: Michel Conan (Ed.): Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity. Harvard Press, Washington DC 2007, ISBN 978-0-88402-329-6 .
  6. ^ Amy Bogaard: 'Garden Agriculture' and the Nature of early Farming in Europe and the Near East. (PDF) World Archeology 37/2 (Garden Agriculture), 2005, p. 178 , accessed on October 9, 2014 (English).
  7. ^ Maria C. Shaw: The Aegean Garden. 1993, American Journal of Archeology 97.4 661-685
  8. ^ Patrick Bowe: The evolution of the ancient Greek garden. In: Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes: An International Quarterly 30/3, 2010, p. 208. doi: 10.1080 / 14601170903403264 .
  9. ^ Patrick Bowe: Civic and other public planting in ancient Greece. In: Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes: An International Quarterly 31/4, 2011, doi: 10.1080 / 14601176.2011.587270 .
  10. ^ A b c Wilhelmina F. Jashemski : Ancient Roman gardens in Campania and Tunisia: A comparison of the evidence. 1996, The Journal of Garden History 16/4, p. 231, doi: 10.1080 / 01445170.1996.10435649 .
  11. ^ Wilhelmina F. Jashemski: Roman gardens in Tunisia: preliminary excavations in the House of Bacchus and Ariadne and in the East Temple at Thuburbo Maius. 1995, American journal of Archeology 99, pp. 559-575.
  12. ^ Wilhelmina F. Jashemski: Ancient Roman gardens in Campania and Tunisia: A comparison of the evidence. The Journal of Garden History 16/4, 1996, p. 239, doi: 10.1080 / 01445170.1996.10435649 .
  13. Y. Barat, D. Morize: Les pots d'horticulture dans le monde antique et les Jardins de la Villa Gallo-Romaine de Richebourg (Yvelines). Societe Française d'Étude de la Ceramique Antique en Gaule (Actes du congrès de Friborg, May 1999). Marseille 1999, pp. 213-236.
  14. a b c d e Linda Farrar: Ancient Roman Gardens. Stroud, History Press 2011 (first edition 1998), xi.
  15. ^ Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer, Judith Hindermann: Garden and villa landscape in Roman literature. Social and aesthetic discourse with Virgil and Pliny the Younger . In: Richard Faber and Christine Holste (eds.): Arcadian cultural landscape and garden art. A Tour d'Horizon. Würzburg 2010, 57-68.
  16. ^ Ann Kuttner: Looking outside inside: ancient Roman garden rooms. Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes: An International Quarterly, 19/1, 1999, pp. 7-35.
  17. ^ Helena Attlee: The gardens of Portugal . Frances Lincoln, London 2007, p. 99 .
  18. ^ Helena Attlee: The gardens of Portugal . Frances Lincoln, London 2007, p. 124 .
  19. ^ Helena Attlee: The gardens of Portugal . Frances Lincoln, London 2007, p. 134 .
  20. "Garden" originally means fencing and is related to the Gothic gairdan , "gird".
  21. Wolfgang Sörrensen: Gardens and plants in the monastery plan. In: Johannes Duft (Ed.): Studies on the St. Gallen monastery plan. St. Gallen 1962 (= communications on patriotic history. Volume 42), pp. 193–277, here: p. 262.
  22. Christina Becela-Deller: Ruta graveolens L. A medicinal plant in terms of art and cultural history. (Mathematical and natural scientific dissertation Würzburg 1994) Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1998 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 65). ISBN 3-8260-1667-X , pp. 99–105 ( The garden of the Middle Ages , monastery garden ), here: p. 99.
  23. ^ John Harvey: Medieval gardens. 1981.
  24. ^ Marylin Stokstad, Jerry Stannard: Gardens of the middle ages. The University of Kansas, Lawrence 1983.
  25. ^ Elisabeth B. MacDougall (Ed.): Medieval Gardens. (= Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the history of landscape architecture. Volume 9). Washington, DC 1986.
  26. See also Rudolph J. v. Fischer-Benzon : Old German garden flora. Kiel / Leipzig 1894; Reprinted by Walluf 1972.
  27. Jerry Stannard: Alimentary and medicinal uses of plants. In: Elisabeth B. Mac Dougall (Ed.): Medieval gardens. Dumbartin Oaks, Washington DC 1986 (= Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the history of landscape architecture. ) Volume 9, pp. 69-92.
  28. Christina Becela-Deller: Ruta graveolens L. A medicinal plant in terms of art and cultural history. Pp. 100-103.
  29. Johannes Bolte : The sultan's daughter in the flower garden. In: Journal for German Antiquity. Volume 34, 1890, pp. 18-31.
  30. Oswald Zingerle: The paradise garden of the old German Genesis. In: Meeting reports of the kaiserl. Academy of Sciences, philosophical-historical class. Volume 112, (Vienna) 1886, pp. 785-805.
  31. Jerry Stannard: Alimentary and medicinal uses of plants. In: Elisabeth B. MacDougall (Ed.) Medieval gardens. Dumbarton Oaks, Washinhton, DC 1986 (= Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the history of landscape architecture. Volume 9), pp. 69-92.
  32. ^ Christian Hünemörder : 'De plantatione arborum'. In: Author's Lexicon . 2nd Edition. Volume 7, Col. 723-726.
  33. ^ Gundolf Keil : Gottfried von Franken (from Würzburg). In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition, ISBN 3-11-022248-5 , Volume 3: Gert van der Schüren - Hildegard von Bingen. Berlin / New York 1981, col. 125-136.
  34. ^ WH Prescott: History of the Conquest of Mexico, with a preliminary view of the ancient Mexican civilization, and the life of the conqueror, Hernando Cortez. London, Routledge, 1857 online version
  35. ^ Coordination Office for Biodiversity Monitoring Switzerland 2009: State of Biodiversity in Switzerland. Results of the Biodiversity Monitoring Switzerland (BDM) at a glance. Status: May 2009. Environmental status no. 0911. Federal Office for the Environment, Bern.
  36. Media release Eurekalert 2007
  37. Use and building regulations for the allotment gardens of the city of Zurich  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Art. 5/3.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  38. ^ JI Nassauer, Z. Wang, E. Dayrell: What will the neighbors think? Cultural norms and ecological design. ( Memento of the original from January 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. 2009 (PDF; 1.7 MB) Landscape and Urban Planning 92, 282–292.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  39. Vertical garden. Retrieved April 20, 2020 .