"A proverb, allegedly a Chinese one, says: "If you want to be happy all your life, you must become a gardener". Today, this image of the happy "avid gardener" could be defined as someone who has the opportunity to express his or her personality through gardening in his or her garden and who finds a feeling of selffulfilment that way. This definition is also based on the conditions of a Western industrial society. It implies that one should be able to cultivate a garden on a voluntary basis, not in order to make a living for oneself, neither by having to produce fruit and vegetables nor by working in someone else's garden. In those non-egalitarian societies where private ownership of land is a social privilege, the "avid gardener" who has the opportunity to shape part of the landscape according to his or her own intentions, can be called privileged. Ever since landscape architecture was formed as a modern profession in Germany at the beginning of industrialization, this image of the "avid gardener" has been, implicitly and explicitly, part of its professional ideology. Its social and political implications, however, have not been reflected. Landscape architects who use that metaphor,at the same time turn into selfdeclared experts of gardening who define garden culture on their own terms and who attribute the image of the privileged "avid gardener" to fellow human beings of their choice. Deciding about how and to whom that attribute should be given, to a small elite or to the public in general, may be called a question of professional ethics. The image of the "avid gardener" has served in landscape architecture to point out the groups and classes within society who should be the focus of landscape architects' professional work and who at the same time should be given political and social influence on a broader scale. According to different points of view, this image could be very elitist or even racist, or it could be cast in a truly egalitarian and socially progressive mold. This aspect of the professional ideology shall be discussed on the basis of publications by landscape architects in the Federal Republic of Germany during the 1950s and the 1960s. In these first decades after World War II, not only a new democracy had to take shape in that country, people also had to come to terms with the Nazi past. So, even when a broad-minded image of the "avid gardener" should have been a political imperative, there were still-influential voices in landscape architecture which strove to keep the racist image of the "Arian" or the "German" as the only possible "avid gardener" alive. The gradual abandonment of this image and the rise of the notion that everyone should be able to play the role of the "avid gardener" is indicative of a rise of democratic ideals within that profession as well as within society in general towards the end of the 1960s."