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A place for the observation of nature - continued...

At the time prior to the establishment of plant physiological institutes the garden had been the most prominent laboratory of plant physiological research. While the microscope and other technical devices were used to study the subtler parts of plants in order to understand anatomical and morphological details and characteristics the garden played a key role in understanding the physical life, i.e. the physiology of plants.

Although not a physiological laboratory in the strict sense the garden provided the visual Veranschaulichung or demonstration for physiological research. The garden as an enclosed albeit open cultivated area allowed for all controll necessary and advisable to carry out experimental trails. As a place mimicking nature the area of the garden was as close to nature itself as to its imposed culture. The garden therefore not only acted as a vehicle for practical exercises in the fields of the demonstrative sciences. It also assisted to establish the means to visually and physiologically interrogate, observe and describe nature. As much as the study of plant anatomical, morphological and structural details by use of microscopical research facilitated the science of botany the more this seems relevant for physiological enquiries: plant physiology did progress by seeing and the Anschauung of the living processes within the vegetable kingdom.


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  • Anonymous. 1826. Vortrag des Direktors bei dem am 19. Juni gehaltenen Jahresfeste, des Vereins zur Beförderung des Gartenbaues. In: Verhandlungen des Vereins zur Beförderung des Gartenbaues in den Königlich Preußischen Staaten 2: 352-375
  • Dreger, Hans-Joachim. 1992. Die Königliche Landesbaumschule zu Potsdam und Alt-Geltow. In: Peter Joseph Lenné: Gartenkunst im 19. Jahrhundert. Beiträge zur Lenné-Forschung, edited by D. Karg and H.-J. Dreger, 147-170. Berlin: Verlag für Bauwesen
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ISSN 1866-4784: reference - xlink