venerdì 18 maggio 2007

Medieval Gardens

Medieval Gardens
In medieval times, a garden could have a symbolic and spiritual dimension. The hortus conclusus or 'enclosed garden' was a sacred area which might represent the Christian soul, enclosed in the body, or the Church, formed of the body of the faithful. It was also, in the late Middle Ages, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, identified with the bride in the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. In the 15th century, depictions of the Virgin in a Paradise Garden were frequent, in particular in Flemish and German painting. In these images, the flowers all have a symbolic meaning, representing Mary's virtues.
By growing these flowers outside our own church dedicated to St Mary, we have created an area of colour and interest, and also linked ourselves with the medieval inhabitants of Shoreham, who would have understood very well the spiritual significance of these lovely plants.
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