How well the skilful Gardner drew
Of flow'rs and herbes this Dial new;
Where from above the milder Sun
Does through a fragrant Zodiack run;
And, as it works, th' industrious Bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholsome Hours
Be reckon'd but with herbs and flow'rs!
this is the last stanza of the poem THE GARDEN.pls help me with the interpretation-the image of bees and zodiac.
This is a literal answer, but it may help if you don't already know about floral sundials.
There are flowers which only open for part of the day, some early morning only, some midday others in the afternoon. By choosing the right flowers and planting them in order in a circle a gardener can make an approximate sundial with the time shown by which flowers are open. A bee will only visit the open flowers so you could say that it is telling the time from the sundial. A common pattern of sundial was to have a border of the zodiac animals running around the edge of the dial.
There is a list of plants and their times here [www.users.bigpond.com]