The history of garden design in Europe can still be vividly experienced today: walks in Baroque and Renaissance gardens, English landscape gardens, farm and monastery gardens, botanical gardens and other complexes lead the visitor back through this history. Trees, shrubs and bushes reveal the period when the garden was created or redesigned. Sculptures, fountains, bridges, buildings and paths bear witness to the ideals and visions of the creators and garden architects.
Why were the parks and gardens established? Where and when did new ideas, “new” plants and contemporary elements make their way into the design of a park or garden? How were new models and fashions adapted to local conditions and preferences? Where can development phases of this kind still be recognised today? Which parks and gardens influenced the history of European garden design?
This European theme of the EGHN wishes to provide answers to questions of this kind. This will be done using short texts, on the one hand, but even more so by presenting examples of parks and gardens in Northwest Europe. The partners of the EGHN have chosen these gardens consciously so as to illustrate how the common garden heritage has developed and how principles and motifs which were developed in one place were taken up in other regions, modified and thus introduced into their characteristic garden culture.
The partners of the network are conscious of the fact that a presentation of the history of garden culture in Europe remains incomplete without the inclusion of the southern European area and other regions.
One of the network’s main priorities is to remove this initially unavoidable limitation. Even now, the EGHN would be pleased to admit further active partners, parks and gardens to the network.