Thursday, November 26, 2015


This is an acanthus plant. I grew them where I used to live and they naturalize easily. There are about fifty species of the genus and I loved having them because they are a very old plant. They have been around for a long time. Flowering somewhat like a snap dragon, they have sharp spikes.

When I was a kid, a cousin I really liked moved to Athens and over the years her correspondence and gifts made me passionate about Greece and Greek history. I read so many myths and looked at so many picture books that I was always doing my school reports about things Greek.

One thing that really impressed me were Greek columns. I loved the massive structures and marvelled at their construction—slightly bellowed so as to look straight to the eye—and I loved how each form had a name and different capital. My favourite, by far, was the Corinthian column and it was my favourite because the design of its capital was derived from the leaf of the acanthus.

All my life, I have enjoyed enlightening visitors to my garden about the architectural history of this plant. I thought about this this morning because I came across this glorious illustration of a Corinthian capital.

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