Rules Of Engagement In The Garden

The first botanical garden was created in 1545 Padua, Italy. Inscribed on pillars at the entrance to the garden are rules for those who visit. I believe they are very pertinent even today. Here are the rules:

I Do Not Knock At This Main Gate Before The Day Of Mark The Evangelist ( April 25) And Then Not Before The 22nd Hour.
II Anyone Entering Through The Main Gate, Should Not Wander From The Main Avenue.
III Do Not Break Stems, Pick Flowers, Collect Fruit Or Seed, Or Pull Roots In The Garden.
IV Do Not Touch Young Shoots and Do Not Tread Underfoot Or Leap Over Flower Beds.
V The Gardens Are Not To Be Afflicted With Harm.
VI Nothing Must Be Done Against The Will Of The Prefect ( director of garden).
VII Any Contravention Of These Rules Will Be Punished With Fines, Imprisonment, Or Exile.

To these I’d like to add:

VII When Visiting The Garden, Feel Free To Praise It Lavishly. Preferably Within Earshot Of The Gardener.
IX Bring Along A Notebook To Write Down All Of The Brilliant Ideas and Designs The Garden And Gardener Provide.
X Mind Your Children But Do Not Threaten Them With The Ire Of The “Wicked” Gardener.
XI Do Not Mention Other Gardens In Comparison To This One Unless You Intend Using Names Like Versailles, Sissinghurst or Shangri La.
XII Every Visitor Is Obligated To Tell A Minimum Of Ten Others About The Marvels Observed In This Garden. Failure To Do So Will Result In Punishments Already Stated ( See Rule VII).
I think that covers just about everything relevant. I must now go in search of a suitable pillar preferably of ancient origin and, a well sharpened chisel.
Below are photos from the Wild Medicine Exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens:
Wild Medicine/Padua 1
Wild Medicine/ Padua 2
Wild Medicine/ Padua 3
(c) 2013 Shobha Vanchiswar

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