Plants have been a popular choice for motifs in wayside art for centuries, the vine-scroll
perhaps being historically the oldest. Plants have been useful as symbols and for
repeated patterns. Most commonly, an artefact has had one particular plant used
on it as a motif, but occasionally two or more have been used in combination. Less
often, they are used in combination with the seasons or representations of the natural
world generally, and these have tended to be in more recent times. Below are two
examples of the latter. Go to other pages for examples of the most commonly used
plants as motifs.
Above: Stained glass windows in Wortham Church in Suffolk with the four seasons as
a subject. The glass was installed in memory of William Ling who died in 1982.
Modern stained glass windows in the porch of Tasburgh Church in Norfolk, depicting
not only plants but birds, too.
The unusual motif of a pear on this village sign at Ditchingham with Pirnough in
Norfolk is a reference to the place-name Pirnough. The pear is flanked by two stalks
of wheat. The shape of the sign is a reference to Egyptian pyramids. Ditchingham
was the home of the well-known writer, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, who was an enthusiast
of the Ancient Egyptians.