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Historicism (1850 - 1914)

From 1850 it went downhill in Europe as far as grape growing was concerned, and retreated to a few climatically favored areas. Phylloxera and new fungal diseases were at fault which spread across trellises. Thus, grape vine was ousted in favor of building green ups of leaf and ornamental plants. Next, the trend from England was land houses and villas now with lush plantings of pure decorative trellises - roses and clematis were, and still are indispensable! The arbors of the growing number of small gardens were built and planted. In industrial architecture as well as in apartment buildings of the "founding period" in 1871, however, building greening played hardly any role, parallel, the garden city movement was established in 1900. These will be described separately.

Neogothik castle in Püchau (Saxony) with knotweed

Facade Greening as a Decorative Element

Building Green up as decoration was created in the second half of the 19th century, to honour the emperor or King when visiting a town or village. This was based on the old tradition, to throw nothing away, and instead to use everything at hand, including the blend of Evergreen plants (Ivy, Holly, Boxwood). The shoots were braided to garlands and attached to the facades because the leathery, waxy leaves lasted a long time. However, after so many new climbing plants were becoming available, it was tried in many places to replace these green garlands by a durable green up with growing wires/ropes for climbers. From time to time espaliers only for decoration were placed.

Green "jewels" fruit after an old tradition , twisted garlands
Green garlands of Boxwood clippings

New Climbing Plants

The new climbing plants which broadened the design pallet were now coming back from Asia, often via England: Akebia (1845), Bittersweet (1860), Boston Ivy (1862), furthermore Kiwi (1874) and Silver lace vine (1899). In 1858 came the still famous "Clematis Jackmannii" from the English cultivation culture. Hundreds of Roses and Clematis breeds resulting from England and France, and almost every one of the climbing plants we use today were virtually established around 1900.

Akebia on a "Gründerzeit" building
Building in historicism style with Akebia

Picture Gallery

Here you can find examples of greened buildings of the historicim period. Some of the plants range back the buildings time of creation. Please click the pictures!

Silver lace vine on castle Püchau / Saxony, approx. 1995 newly added. See title photo at top.
Berlin state library in neo-baroque style (approx. 1910). Wild vines from the time of the building period.
Spa architecture Villa in Binz / Rügen / Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with two old Grape vines
Two ancient Wisteria on an apartment building in Potsdam / Brandenburg. Probably  dating from the building period
Villa greened with Wisteria
Trumpet vine on a Historicism gable. Probably Neo-Renaissance
Wild vine on an outbuilding, Quedlingburg / Saxony-Anhalt
Silver lace vine on a building from the time of industrial expansion, Berlin
Ancient garden arbour with grape vines in a feral allotment
Grape espalier on a city villa from 1892, greater Dresden area / Saxony
Stud converted to homes built in industrial architecture style from approx. 1890, Wisteria, Kreuzvorwerk Halle a.d. Saale / Saxony-Anhalt
Neo-Renaissance city hall from 1885 greened with Wisteria, Lützen / Saxony-Anhalt
A small Wisteria spindle subsequently added to an art nouveau building, Wittenberg / Saxony-Anhalt
A small firethorn (front) and a lush firethorn (back). Neo-Gothic building in the Babelsberg park / Potsdam / Brandenburg
Small rose espalier analogous to wire rope system 4020 on a "Gründerzeit" building, Leipzig / Saxony
Three and five lobbed wild vine on a Neo-Gothic church ruin, Wachau near Leipzig / Saxony