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Hortus Conclusus

This was Finlay’s last work for the garden, planned before his death and executed afterwards. Housed within the walls of the old barn it follows the tradition of the mediaeval ‘enclosed garden’, a precinct or bower for the lady of a noble house, but also a metaphor for the purity of the virgin Mary and a place for contemplative reflection. The plants in the hortus are those which were used in such gardens – medicinal, culinary and decorative. The pool within reflects the passing clouds as well as the stone walls and the large pebbles in which it is set. Its circumference is inscribed with the Latin terms for the various types of cloud. Recalling the French poet Mallarm√©, Finlay invites reflection on the nature of those heavenly and earthly elements.

Hortus Conclusus (LS Guide, p. 67). Realised posthumously and formerly the old barn, now a version of the medieval enclosed garden, with gates, railings and a circular, stone-rimmed pool. Pia Maria Simig, design from Finlay’s notebook; Ralph Irving and John Brazenell, removal of roof, demolition of first floor and consolidation of stone work; Chris Topp, blacksmithing; Peter Coates, poolside inscription: Cirrus Astrocumulus Cirrostratus Cirrocumulus Stratus Cumulonimbus Altostratus Nimbostratus Cumulus Stratocumulus. c. 2009.