After his training in Muskau and early designs for parks in and around Eisenach Petzold entered the service of the Weimar court in 1844 as court gardener at Ettersburg.
In 1845, together with Prince Hermann of Pückler-Muskau, he widened an already existing aisle on the Ettersberg. From 1845 to 1850 he was in charge of rearranging sections of the park at Tiefurt, and from 1848 to 1852 of the Ilm Park.
Furthermore, apart from other projects, he was responsible for the plans to redesign the park of Sondershausen Palace. In 1852, Petzold went to Muskau where he completed the park until 1869.
His sphere of activity as a landscape designer went beyond the German borders. In addition, he wrote several important treatises and books on garden theory.