NEVER- ENDING NATURE STORY
In the Christian context gardens play a big part in the Easter liturgy. The biblical story set in the Garden of Gethsemane is one that sets the scene for the coming crucifixion and the resurrection. More crudely, the Easter weekend for us.
Like many stories from the Bible, there is a requirement for some latitude and imagination as to locations of famous events. The substance should be left to the individual to deal with.
The olive trees that are part of the Garden of Gethsemane are still there.
In fact, the garden by that name still exists and is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Carbon dating the remaining trees puts them around the year 1090.
It is believed that these trees, while not scientifically related to those of the crucifixion period, could possibly be sprouts from the original roots dating back even further. Again, no solid evidence exists. Olives have a (bad) habit of shooting after their removal if some roots remain.
One thing is for certain: Olives just love the sandy dry climate between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean (especially in and around Jerusalem) and it is common to see 1000-year-old trees with gnarled trunks still producing viable crops of fruit.
Passion is part of the Easter period. This also extends to the symbolic use of eggs in a garden and the passionfruit.
The passionfruit flower lasts for three days. The same period of the time of the crucifixion to the resurrection. The colourful and perfect circle of petals are said to represent the crown of thorns.
These may be historical ‘add-ons’ but are part of the amusement and mysticism of the period. I’m more for the idea that one passions after the sumptuous flavour of the fruit.
No matter what your beliefs, there is always some sort of horticulture in the background. After all, we eat it, smell it, wear it, build with it and, as we do now, revere it. Happy Easter.