The Southern Section of the Carthusian Garden: A Landscape Garden
The original Carthusian garden around the gardener’s house had been extended to include the western, lower section along the Sengelsbach stream, and following this, the gardens were to be connected with the surrounding landscape to the south. By the year 1873, the court gardener Hermann Jäger (1815-1890) had already drawn up plans to enlarge the gardens and thereby establish a connection with the Johannistal valley. With this in mind, a private garden was acquired. However it would take over seven years before this so-called ‘Kutschbach’ garden could be redesigned and integrated into the Carthusian Garden as the contract of sale was only able to be finalised in 1880. The promenade into the Johannistal valley that begins at the southern entrance to the gardens was named after Feodora (1890-1972), the last grand duchess of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach in 1910.
The basic design features of the southern section of the garden that were determined at the end of the 19th century can still be seen today. What was important here was not the small-scale presentation of rare exotic plants, but the design of harmonious, landscaped sections. Central to this southern part of the gardens was a large, open meadow. The visual axes stretched across the villa district to the Wartburg Castle and the south-eastern corner was designed as an ‘oak forest’ to create a gentle transition to the actual ‘grand ducal forest’.
The upper ‘König Meadow’ (Königswiese) - the highest section of the Carthusian Garden - is named in memory of the important forestry scientist, Gottlob König (1779-1849). König belongs to the big names in forestry. Er wrote various foundational works, was the co-founder of dendrometry (the measurement of trees) as well as forest aesthetics, and introduced the concept of ‘forest care’. As the founding director of the Eisenach Forestry College, that continued until 1915, König designed the educational forests surrounding the Wartburg Castle with their rocks, ravines and valleys and made them accessible by paths in the first half of the 19th century so that they were merged into a large, "useful and beautiful" forest park.
Northern Red Oak
Sessile Oak, also called Cornish Oak, Irish Oak or Durmast Oak
The trees are marked in the gardens.
DID YOU KNOW?
THE CARTHUSIAN GARDEN ONCE SERVED AS A ‘GARDEN CENTRE’ …
The gardeners of the court nursery cultivated ornamental plants in their greenhouses and garden beds that were used for the ducal grounds and festivities - but were also available for sale. The selection of plants available in this ‘Grand Ducal Garden Centre’ around 1900 included mostly cut and summer flowers, but also tubers, roses, ferns, potted plants, palm trees, alongside ready- tied palm and laurel wreaths, flower baskets - or rather ‘jardinière plantings’ (plants for ornamental planters) and bouquets. In rare cases even soil was sold and indoor plants taken in for care over a number of weeks!
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