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More than nature: a spiritual paradise

More than nature: a spiritual paradise

There is almost nothing green in the State Hall of the National Library. Perhaps that is why the exhibition “Gardens and People” invites you to think: what makes a garden? Does he need guards? And where are the dwarfs?

British historian John Dixon Hunt, author of several books on gardens, asked, “What on earth is a garden?”. In his long answer – by no means unequivocal – he quoted the French garden historian Comte Ernest de Gagné, who made it easy for himself: “Un jardin est ce qu’il est.” The garden is what it is. A variation can be found in the classic textbook on garden art written by Antoine-Joseph Desalers d’Argenville from 1709: “The garden must always appear larger than it is.”

Yes, what is it and how is the park? limited at least. This says the etymology of the word. Indo-Europeans associate it with grad (the Slavic word for a fortified settlement, from which graz comes), with hort, yard, kohort. Yes, even with Gard and “for guard”. One could dialectically say: a garden is a piece of land in front of which a guard stands and does not let us in. Like an angel in front of the biblical paradise: this word comes from the Persian language and means something very similar, that is, “walled up.” Like in a park: from Middle Latin “paricus”, fenced area.

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