This article describes the history of gardens, how garden history began and its development as a process interwoven with the emergence of the concept of garden art and the later evolution of the idea of the garden as a work of art. These phenomenons occurred in the 18th century. Discussions about, and controversy over, the new English landscape parks and the criticism of formal gardens led to creating a language to describe gardens and to the belief that designing them was an art. It was only in the 18th century that writers began to describe garden history in a systematic way, analyzing their artistic form and cultural context (C. C. L. Hirschfeld). The first large-scale history of gardens - which was illustrated and included gardens on all continents - was written by J. C. Loudon (1822). The next significant historiographical work was written by A. Mangin (1867). The last thirty years has been a very fruitful period in the development of garden history, adapting methods used by art historians. The latest research being conducted by historians and philosophers (J. D. Hunt) is striving to establish new grounds for interpreting gardens. The three central issues are: the garden in the sociocultural context, how it is perceived and fundamental questions about its intrinsic nature - what exactly is a garden as a work of art, as a cultural phenomenon, as a subject of literature, as an existential experience of the person who enters it?
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.