The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Practical gardening in Germany

Previous - Next

5. German Gardening, as empirically practised 398. The use of gardens is as general in the best districts of Germany as in England; but in Hungary and some parts of Bohemia, Gallicia, and Prussia, many of the lower orders are without them, or, if permitted to enclose a few yards of ground near their wooden hovels, they seem too indolent and indifferent, or too much oppressed by the exactions of their landlords, to do so. The cabbage tribe, and chiefly red borecole, and the potato, are the universal plants in the cottage gardens of Germany; but lettuces, peas, onions, and turnips, with some other sorts, and the common fruit trees, are introduced in some districts. Flowers are not very general, but the rose, thyme, and mint are to be seen in many places, and a variety of ornamental plants in the better sort of cottage gardens. Farmers' gardens, as in most countries, are a little larger than those of the lowest class of cottagers; but inferior, in point of order and neatness, to that of the man who lives in his own cottage. The gardens of the hereditary families are not, in general, much attended to: their appearance is too frequently that of neglect and disorder. Cabbages, potatoes, apples, and pears, and perhaps a few onions, are the produce expected from them: these are cultivated by a servant, not always a gardener, and who has generally domestic occupations to perform for the family. It will readily be imagined that, in such an extensive country, there are innumerable exceptions; in these, the gardens are better arranged, and the produce of a more varied description. Next to the gardens of the princes or rulers, the best are those of the wealthy bankers and citizens. These are richly stocked with fruit trees, generally contain hothouses, and are liberally kept up. Some of them contain collections of exotics.