Seed Diaries 

 Week 1: Page 3 of 3

...Wilkinson: ’function, meaning and form’4 with the first two bringing about the third and religion was the overseer of all three elements. When I first saw images of Ancient Egyptian gardens, they all seemed to centre around a usually rectangular form surrounded by trees and shrubs or pillars along the edges and often water would be in the centre.

I had considered what it might be like to put a small pond in this garden. The thinking was that it would increase the wildlife. Even on a cold March day surely there should be more than just worms? My fear was that the lack of diversity was due to it being a young garden, a lack of fertility in the soil and not a lot 
to offer the local wildlife. It also might have something to do with there being a busy road a yard or so away. Thankfully you can’t see it but it is there and the animals, big and
small, know about it.

From what I gather, Ancient Egyptian gardens developed from what the area meant. If it was a place a myth had taken place or where a God had resided, the garden would be built around that idea, with plants and layout

4. Alix Wilkinson ‘Symbolism and Design in Ancient Egyptian Gardens’, Garden History, vol.22, no,1 (1994), pp.1-17, p1.

reflecting the subject matter. As put by Alix, ‘the meaning was already there’5 before the garden was created. It was therefore a coming together of myth and reality, a place where the two could stand side by side. If a myth was said to have happened in a place then that place would have a garden befitting of the myth. Bringing two worlds together. What today could be described as a melding of fiction and reality.

At the time this would not have been the case as both would have been deemed reality. It does bring to mind the literary gardens. Like Borges and the significance of the 

outside pruned space in his stories. One of my favourite Borges texts The Garden of Forking Paths,6 suggests a garden as a place for multiple possibilities and uncertainties. Where time is the key factor and tying together words and gardens. Stories and gardens. The generations that are connected through gardens and the connections are nothing if ever growing. Let’s hope.

5. Wilkinson, p.2.
6. Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths (London: Penguin, 2000).