Keywords:landscape architecture, urban gardening, modernism, functionalism, ecology, modern art
Since the middle of the 19th century, when the term ‘landscape architecture’ began to replace the hitherto common term ‘garden art’, the garden as a work of art and gardening, understood as a predominantly decorative activity, stood in the critical discussion about the future of the metropolises. It was not only architects and urban planners who repeatedly questioned the value of ornamental gardens in the city. Against the background of the enormous growth of the cities in the industrial age and the accompanying social problems, leading European landscape architects in the 20th century like Leberecht Migge (1881-1935), Ernst Cramer (1898-1980), and Dieter Kienast (1945-1998) stated that gardening is neither artistic work nor scientific planning, neither modern nor progressive. Given the respective historical context as well as the particular conception of city and society, this criticism is comprehensible. In the 21st century though, the garden as a living component in the ‘network metropolis’, and gardening itself, especially ‘urban gardening’, were experiencing a remarkable renaissance. Against the background of today’s rapid development of the ‘Zwischenstadt’, it turns out that the basic principles of garden thinking never really lost their relevance.