The original Aunt Helen’s Herb Garden was planned, planted and given to Storrowton Village in 1935 by the New England Girl Scouts as a gift of appreciation and affection for Helen Storrow, who was one of its most ardent and generous supporters. The planting plan was drawn by Mrs. G.H. H Kirkwood, a trained and experienced landscape architect and teacher from Winchester, MA, who also designed the Harvard Botanical Garden.
The garden is appropriately filled with plants that were grown for their usefulness by the early New England settlers. It contains herbs brought over by the Pilgrims, as well as herbs indigenous to North America. These valuable plants provided vitamins in the diet and were used in cooking to provide variety in taste and to mask flavors imparted by a lack of refrigeration. Herbal remedies were used to relieve ailments such as headaches and sore throats, aid in indigestion, and even, according to some records, as a treatment for a bad disposition. Dye and fiber for clothing- as well as soap and powder- could be made from many types of herbs.
In 1997, the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners of Hampden County gave the herb garden a facelift, and it has evolved into an educational garden. Each section is designated for a different purpose for which the herbs were used in the 1800s-medicinal, culinary, household and textile.