Sunday, July 26, 2009

In the Wicklow Garden

As symbols, gardens always speak of an earthly Paradise and what better paradise than the garden of Hunters Hotel, Wicklow? It's hardly changed in the twenty years that I have known it. Hunter's is still a very good place for a spot of lunch and if you have a sunny day like this one it's almost perfect. The Chinese poet, Chang Chi wrote, to stroll in a garden! I orbit the infinite. But it is the Persians that are most known for their fabulous gardens. A great source of insight for literature, gardens inspired two famous collections of Persian poetry, The Rose Garden and The Orchard. I think that the Hunter's Hotel garden in Wicklow approximates to a kind of mandala layout of squares and circles - so it can be recognised as symbolically representing the human psyche. Jung might say that this shape brings inner piece and harmony and the contents are symbolic of psychic development and regeneration. St John of the Cross held that God himself was a garden and for Muslims, Allah is sometimes called "The Gardener".