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Botanic Garden


by the Artist Ian Hamilton Finlay
The post is of green oak, the initially enigmatic numerals indicating a 'method' - the type of musical or mathematical composition employed by bell ringers. The successive numerals give directions for 'change ringing', with the permutations giving the place of each differently tuned bell in the sequence. The reference is both to the omnipresent cathedral with its bells, and to the bells - tubular flowers- of the numerous foxgloves which surround the post. The work sets out to compliment the pleasingly variegated nature of the gardens with their mixture of wild and formal views. Unlike a sundial, however, it alludes not to the regular succession of the hours of the day, but to the episodic bouts of ringing which punctuate the ecclesiastical calendar.