The Constant Gardener

One of the reasons I’m slightly obsessed with botanic gardens is that the earliest impulse to create them integrated science and religion within their leafy bowers. The 16th century monks who planned and planted Europe’s first botanic gardens did so as an act of devotion to God. They collected seeds and specimens from all over the world in an attempt to recreate the original botanic garden – Eden. The idea was that after the Fall, Eden had disappeared to some far flung location, and expeditions were sent to go find it. The alternate thinking was that Eden had been flung asunder, its treasures distributed all over the world, and again, explorers were sent to go find those pieces and bring th

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© 2017 MARY ELLEN HANNIBAL
Illustration by Michael Schwab @ michaelschwab.com
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