Part 4

Renaissance and Age of Discovery (approx. 15 c. – 16 c.)

The gardens at the beginning of this new time tell of a sense of beauty, passion for collection and scientific inquiry. Many unfamiliar plants from America arrived in Europe, including beans, sunflowers, squash, tomatoes, corn and potatoes. They were curiosities in the gardens of nobles and wealthy citizens. In a garden in Fuldaaue, the first tomatoes in Nordhessen were cultivated by the gardener of Landgrave Wilhelm IV from Hessen-Kassel.

During this time, monks relinquished their leading position as healers and scientists to doctors, pharmacists and teachers. Old herbal books are proof of an aroused interest in investigating the plant kingdom. The knowledge of medicinal herbs has been available to the public ever since. These early naturalists formed the first botanical collections, the precursors to botanical gardens.

Homegardens also changed. Ornamental plants made an entrance. For the first time, plants were grown only for their beauty. This era ended with the beginning of the 30 Years‘ War.