The Landscape Guide

Princely gardens in Germany

All the  German gardens that we have observed so far are burgher gardens really, however well they are carried out. But for the gardens of a prince something special was desired at that period. In 1560 Gesner divides up the different kinds, by no means scientifically, but with a view to doing justice to all, in this fashion: 

  1. Ordinary gardens for the household, with vegetables, vines, orchard and grass for the nourishment of man and beast. 
  2. Medicinal gardens, containing in addition to these things various healing plants, foreign and native. 
  3. Miscellaneous gardens, with not only healing herbs but also peculiar plants that attract attention and admiration. 
  4. Elegant gardens only meant for ornament, with arbours, pleasure-houses, and places to stroll about in, with fine ever- green trees, and all the various designs that can be made by curving and weaving the branches. Such are the gardens of wealthy ladies and all well-to-do people, especially monks, 
  5. Show gardens, such as learned men and princes or the state itself may possess, with splendid buildings, ponds, and water-works, artificial mounds, squares for tournaments or tennis,

A picture from the Werth collection (Fig. 360) gives an illustration of these requirements for the garden of a prince. Close to the castle is the spacious playground, and behind is the labyrinth with arcades round it and a magnificent fountain, also an animal park with a bath and other features.

Illustrations on CD edition of Garden Visit and Travel Guide - see