Καρδιά τῶν Θεσπιαί

One of the things that I fell in love with about this house in Lansing is the back garden — it’s large (at least compared to the size of the house) and it’s virtuallly a blank slate for landscape planning.

Oh, but Ruadhán, you love the big cities, what’s all this about gardening?

It’s true, my heart belongs to the metropolis, and that is also where some of the most gorgeous municipal parks and gardens have addresses. 😉

Of course, the recent frosts of my local climate have kept me in the planning and starting stages of this garden, to be named “Καρδιά του Θεσπιαί” (Heart of Thespiai)”.

The garden is planned as part edibles, part decorative. When I was browsing seeds at Meijer a coup[le weeks ago, I grabbed delphinium larkspur and poppies and a few Peony bulbs, and then something called Cupid’s Dart caught my eye. From there, I was inspired to a theme that includes Bleeding Hearts, Love-Lies-Bleeding, and Heartsease.

After the first major thaw, I found a discarded DOOR in the back garden, and immediately was inspired to attach it to some simple trellises to form a doorway in and out of the garden via the back alley. Because trellises are nothing without comething climbing them, I intend to pick up a couple of grapevines to help it out, and the “fencing” will be finished off with raspberries in the back and decorative flowering shrubbery along the side. I also found a gorgeous little drawf peach tree at Home Depot and I’ve found sellers of quince seedlings. I also have plans for a goldfish pond with lotus and surrounded by narcissus

The back garden isn’t all I’m intending on working on. I also intend to tear up the front yard and replace it with wild flowers in front of the house and creeping thyme out by the mailbox (mainly cos I hate mowing lawns).

So, obviously, I also have been reading up on ancient gardens, if for nothing else than in hopes of gaining more inspirations for plants, arrangements, structures….

As best as I can tell, in ancient times, Hellenes left the major private sacred gardens to the Minoans and Babylonians until what we now know as the Hellenistic era — there were private vegetable plots, some templs had ornamental shrubbery, the pharmakoussai presumably kept plots and/or containers of herbs, and there were a few municipal gardens; basically the road from well-maintained Sacred Springs and Groves to something more elaborate was an organic process, and seems to have been built naturally, not reaching great attention until post-Alexander.

More links:
http://www.gardenvisit.com/history_theory/garden_landscape_design_articles/sacred_gardens/greek_sanctuaries_holy_sacred
http://www.matrifocus.com/IMB08/paganisms.htm
http://www.fjkluth.com/garden.html

ALSO:

I’ve started a campaign on IndieGoGo to help raise funds or the garden. I will update with “pitch media” when there’s better light outside.

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2 thoughts on “Καρδιά τῶν Θεσπιαί

  1. That sounds exciting! You might particularly want to read up on Ἀφροδίτη ἐν κήποις (in the gardens). I don’t recall reading if She got any formal cult practice under that name, but it’s at least a common name for the classical pattern of statues (and maybe altars?) of Her showing up in… well… gardens.

    Incidentally, grammatically you might perhaps be looking for καρδία τῶν θεσπιῶν, assuming you’re saying “of/from the θεσπιαί.” τοῦ and -αι words don’t usually go together quite like that, first because τοῦ is singular where θεσπιαί is plural, and second because τοῦ is genitive (showing possession) where θεσπιαί is nominative (as the subject of a sentence). τῶν and θεσπιῶν are the plural genitive versions of those words.

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    • I'll definitely look up that epithet of Aphrodite!

      As for the grammar, do the same rules follow for cities? See, that's where all my translation software kept getting stuck.

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