THE island of lefkada
The Greek garden is a reminder of Hearn’s yearning for his mother whom he lost at the age of four, when Rosa returned in poor health to Lefkada. As a young writer in Cincinnati, Hearn began to use his middle name ‘Lafcadio’, given to him by his mother, by which he was known for the rest of his life.
The Greek garden is a grass-banked amphitheatre, planted with herbs of Mediterranean origin. In it’s centre, stands an a century-old olive tree planted beside a small well. Together these symbolise the story of the foundation of Athens, when the two Olympian gods, Poseidon and Athena, laid claim to the patronage of the city. When the gods were asked to offer gifts to the city, Poseidon struck the earth with his trident and created a well, water shot forth, but the water turned out to be salty and of no value. Athena struck her spear into the ground and planted an olive branch. This way she created an olive tree, as a symbol of peace and prosperity on earth. Athena’s claim won the day, and the city was named for her.