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Artikelen > the garden as an expression of supernature

Saskia de Wit, the garden as an expression of supernature,
garden and metaphor

Never before had the garden to fulfil so many demands as it does today. It is a refuge from digitalised life and acts as a bridge to nature. As a man-made place where plants grow, it is cultivated and untamable at the same time. While for centuries the gardener's ambition was to control and subjugate nature, today it serves more as a place for retreat, a possible surrogate for wilderness, a habitat for animals or it fulfils the dream of self-sufficiency. InIn this book, landscape architects, sociologists, architects, artists, philosophers and historians illuminate different aspects of the garden in the Anthropocene in six chapters: the garden as a place of community, garden as art, garden as a place of enchantment and rapture, opening up questions of what the garden as a model could stand for.


the garden as an expression of supernature

'The Garden as an Expression of Supernature' discusses the Wasserkrater Garden in Germany as an entry to define a contemporary interpretation of nature: "super-nature", which might be represented in gardens as a force of abundance, beautiful and dramatic, showing existence to its full extent in which humans are only a small part, and at the same as something close to home, part of our daily environment. The Wasserkrater Garden shows an entanglement of natural and artificial  expressing the contemporary understanding of the Anthropocene: the current era after the Holocene, in which humanity intervenes as a force of nature, and nature no longer exists without human influences. Without the distinction between what is natural and what is man-made, the contemporary garden can expose wilderness not in opposition of, but as an integral part of the metropolitan realm and our daily environment, evoking an immersive encounter with nature: an embodied experience.

In Ana Kucan and Mateja Kurir ed. Garden and Metaphor. Essays on the Essence of the Garden Birkhauser 2023. pp. 84-91