Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

The Core of Eden


My favourite part of the Eden Project was the Core building, it is the arts, education and events hub. It’s design is based on the geometry that defines plant growth, or as it is known to its mates, phyllotaxis

Core 1

I totally fell in love with ‘the seed’ a 70 ton sculpture  hewn from Cornish granite that sits at the centre of the building (regular readers will know my affection for lumps of rock.)

seed 1 

The impact  of the seed seemed magnified somehow by the small circular room in which it nestles, hidden, gestating waiting to burst out (this also makes it difficult to photograph) for me there was something going on about, the vastness of nature and the littleness of the human race, I have to add I don’t have a clue what I am talking about here, I can only tell you how it made me feel

For a sense of scale

seed 2

And texture

seed 1-2

It is based on a sunflower and was designed by the sculptor Peter Randall-Page.

I enjoyed the video* of the making of ‘the seed’ from the selection and blasting the rock, the sculpting and it’s journey on a very large truck through the narrow lanes and the nail biting crane lift as it was carefully lowered through the central oculus** into position. The journey, or maybe it was more of a ceremonial procession, filmed from the cab of the truck, seemed to encompass all life, passing on the way babies in buggies, children playing,  right through to a funeral cortège (forgive me, but I can just imagine the films creative directors glee at capturing a hearse on film, ‘Yes! birth, death, the seed, the core, gedit? regeneration, life’s journey, the cycle of life.’

Oh forgive me I’ve come over all eco-arty, I’ll have to nip out side and hug a tree and caress a cauliflower.


*One teeny weeny moan, the entrance to the little theatre area where the film was shown, was next to the screen, so the light falling on the screen rather took the edge off the viewing quality of the film, I still watched it twice though!

** Oculus, got to love that word, not sure how often I could chuck it in to a conversation though.



Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

10 thoughts on “The Core of Eden

  1. I completely understand why you love that – it’s great isn’t it? I’d want to run my hands over it! Are you allowed to touch it?

  2. Reading this post was so much fun I feel like dancing. More! More!

  3. I think something that impressive not only has an immediate impact but is remembered long after you see it! xx

  4. We hear a lot about “tree huggers”, but “cauliflower caressers” brings a whole new image. Very picturesque.

  5. Such a beautiful sculpture, and the fact that its based on a sunflower reminded me of a fact I learnt from reading the DaVinci Code, about how almost all flowers follow the Fibonacci sequence when it comes to how many petals they have! Fascinating!


  6. Well, I completely missed this when I went to the Eden Centre. Don’t know how but it’s a shame because I would love to have seen the Seed. But even seeing it here inspires me – to go out and sow my winter greens!

  7. Pingback: Waterlogged | Uphilldowndale

  8. Pingback: Hundred Year Stone | Uphilldowndale

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