The Geological Garden reflects the Earth’s various structures and its millions of years of history and the garden therefore has the snail-like form of an ammonite, the most famous kind of fossil.
At the heart of the Geological Garden is a sundial showing “Earth time” in form of an ammonite, on whose face consecutive geological eras can be read, illustrating the Earth’s 4.5 billion years of developmental history. While the Hadean, Archean and Proterozoic periods – the “primordial soup” that existed long before animals evolved – makes up the longest segment in the Earth’s history at 3.93 billion years, the most recent Cainozoic period up to and including today is just 65 million years long.
At the centre of the ‘Earth time clock’ is a spring in a stone from which water, the symbol of life, flows out over a spiral channel through the eras of the Earth’s history. It shows the rocks that developed in the Earth’s various eras. The path around the ‘Earth time clock’ is paved with the main rocks typical of each period.
Plants such as birches and meadows and beds of crop plants document the most recent phase of the Earth’s history, such as the beginning of agriculture around 6,000 years before the Common Era and the development of forestry in the 16th century, as well as the influence of humanity on today’s landscape.