Urns and ferns

In his poetic meditation on mortality, spurred by funerary urns, Thomas Browne, in Hydriotaphia or Urne Buriall (1658) wrote:

“Time, which antiquated antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of all things, hath yet spared these minor monuments.”

The stone urns at Dawyck are much valued for their intrinsic qualities and not as ossuaries. Some have been lovingly restored; one is planted up. All have intricately carved foliage: here a fern, there a vine and a swag.

For me they represent the point where the art of classicism meets the art of the garden; something that many gardeners strive for, and which is present at the core of Dawyck’s landscape.

That this display of extreme aesthetic sensibility is also one of status and wealth, of conspicuous “good taste” should not deter us from our own contemplations on garden form and function.



<img src=




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s