The CGL’s research profile is crucially structured by five research fields, which are now briefly introduced. However, these only reflect a selection of the research topics dealt with; the whole variety and spectrum can hardly be presented here.
Religion and garden culture
The CGL has been looking intensively into connections between religion and garden culture since its inception in 2002, starting with the doctoral scholarships on religion and the history of garden culture that were made possible by the Klosterkammer Hannover (administration of monastic and church property). This research direction continued to be developed resolutely from the symposium "Perceptions of nature and landscape in German-speaking Jewish and Christian literature of the early 20th century" down to the research project “Via Porta – ecumenical pilgrimage route Volkenroda – Waldsassen”, sponsored by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Environmental Foundation).
Gardens in travel literature
For a few years the CGL has been paying particular attention to the whole spectrum of travel literature from different periods, starting with the travel reports of court gardeners through literary and touristic travel reports right down to utopian journeys. At the centre of attention are the reception and transmission of gardens and parks as well as their potential for exciting the imagination, which have been inscribed into the knowledge of literature and preserved there. This field of research also derives from the CGL’s interdisciplinary orientation. The literary scholars H. Fischer and S. Thielking have played a crucial role in initiating and fostering this field. 2013 saw the start of the research and editing project “Heinrich Ludolph Wendland’s travel report from 1820”, sponsored by the VGH-Stiftung.
Current landscape architecture
From the very start, much attention has been devoted to questions of contemporary landscape architecture and to the present and future significance of landscape architecture and garden culture. Since modern landscape architecture and historical developments are closely interrelated, almost all events that focus on current landscape architecture also include historical retrospectives, from which insights for the future can be gained. In 2014 the volume “Zukunft aus Landschaft gestalten” appeared, edited by H. Fischer (CGL-Studies vol. 17), with numerous entries on landscape architecture, on which experts have expressed their ideas.
Historical garden preservation
Likewise, from the start great importance was attached to historical garden preservation in theory and practice. Various events bear witness to this as well as individual volumes of the CGL-Studies such as “Gartendenkmalpflege zwischen Konservieren und Rekonstruieren” (Vol. 9, 2010) and "Der Garten als Kunstwerk – Der Garten als Denkmal" (Vol. 10, 2012), as do workshops such as the one on the situation of university training at the training institutions for landscape architecture in Germany, carried out in 2003 in collaboration with Cord Panning, director of the Trust "Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau" or "Klösterliche Kulturlandschafts-forschung" (Research into monastic cultural landscapes; 2006), funded by the Klosterkammer Hannover.
Herrenhausen and Hannover
For the CGL, researching Herrenhausen and Hannover in the context of garden culture, viewed regionally, nationally and internationally, is a more or less very obvious research task. Activities here range from working on an exhibition on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the renewal of the Great Garden in 2007, proposed at the time by the Director of the Herrenhausen gardens, Dipl.-Ing. Ronald Clark, through investigations into the work of the heads of Hannover’s green spaces administration (founded in 1890) to conducting the conference “Herrenhausen in International Comparison”, which took place in the orangery in May 2011. In connection with the research field of Hannover and Herrenhausen, one can point to the research programme “Royal Garden Library of Herrenhausen”, which has been carried out in close cooperation with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek since 2009 and has been supported by the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture.