The Linköping Horticultural Society was founded on 22 March 1859 to create a public park in the city. It should become the green lung for the city, offering green areas and promenades for walking and recreation. A second aim was educational, to get the people interested in gardening and to increase the knowledge about cultivation of plants, vegetables and fruits which was important from an economic point of view. In a nursery fruit trees and useful plants could be cultivated and sold cheaply to people with little money.
The inspiration came from England and France and from Germany where first public parks were opened at around 1830. The opening of the park in Linköping took place approximately at the same time as the Central Park in New York was being created.
In 1859 Linköping was a very small town but it was to grow rapidly with a strong increase of the population. The idea of creating a park where people could walk in a pleasant and healthy environment had a strong proponent in Karl Gustav Bodin, head clerk of a local mortgage bank. The person who finally realized the project was a German landscape gardener, Christian Fredrik Kroné who became the first director of the society and influenced the development of the park until his death in 1907.