German poet, novelist, dramatist and garden enthusiast. The founder of modern German literature and leader of the Romantic movement. He was in Italy between 1786 and 1788 and visited a number of gardens, including the Orto Botanico in Padua, which still grows the palm tree which inspired Goethe's theory of evolution. His own garden and the Ilm Park in Weimar survive in good condition. Goethe saw the English style of garden design as a symbol of liberty and enlightenment.
Gardens designed by Goethe, Johan Wolfgang