Recurrent themes are evident in the reading I've done about gardens and how gardens are portrayed in art . A review of my observation journal kept during my two week stay in the gardens at Birr Castle reveal similar themes which in turn are evident in the work I'm creating.
Transience and mortality
Everywhere you look in a garden there is evidence of the transience of life. The cyclical nature of plants, the decay evident in plant matter below trees and garden beds etc. mark the passing of time.
It's impossible to spend time in a garden and not think about your own mortality. There are also objects in gardens that reference mortality, e.g., sundials, funerary urns, fragments of antique statuary, doors.
Certain areas of gardens that are more functional and not for visitor eyes, or ones that have evidence of neglect , e.g. collapsing fences, decaying buildings, rampant weeds, etc. also reference mortality.
.... and the setting sun.