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This stone plaque is fixed to a great ash tree which was the only tree originally in the garden. Mare Nostrum, our sea, was the name given to the Mediterranean by the Romans, a concept that can be read as dominating or as fondly adopting. The sound of the wind in the branches of the ash recalled to IHF the sound of the sea in his inland garden. The use of Latin and the classically lettered plaque dignify the tree and the territorial claim established over the garden.

The bench set round the tree has an inscription evoking the sound of the sea -

and at the same time weaving a series of images which link the marine, the pastoral and the sacred. The toppling shapes of the waves are set beside wavy topped sheaves of corn stacked in the fields to dry, and finally the central aisle of a church suggests the long hollow between waves. The last element is in the derivation of the word naves - from the Latin naves, meaning ships.


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Photographs by Andrew Lawson except where noted