8.04.2010

Gardens in Stone


The following images of gardens in stone were taken at Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati. An idea, wouldn’t it be interesting to design a garden based on the plants depicted in funerary art?
The acanthus leaf, an image we are very familiar with, is depicted in beautiful detail in the above stone. The acanthus leaf adorns Corinthian columns and is believed to have been used in funerary art as early as the 5th century BCE. For funerary art, the leaf's thorns and prickly texture represents the not so easy journey we experience in life and our final triumph over said life.
Grape vine and wheat. Grapes represent the Eucharistic wine- the blood of Jesus. At times, the grape image is coupled with wheat, as we see in the above stone. The wheat represents the bread, or body of Jesus- together, Holy Communion.
A grieving angel holds a wreath made of what I believe is Narcissus. In Christian imagery, the Narcissus is a symbol of triumph over vanity, death and selfishness.

The palm tree was originally a Roman symbol of victory. Christians adopted the plant, as they did with countless other plants and flowers, and gave it a refined and sometimes altogether new meaning. For Christians, the palm tree represents their triumph over death.
The Olive Tree or branch is symbol of peace, especially when carried by a dove. The Olive Tree also represents fruitfulness, purification and light.

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