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Our Garden

Storrowton Herb Garden (1935)

Storrowton's Herb Garden was originally planned, planted and given to Storrowton Village in 1935 by the New England Girl Scouts. It was a gift of appreciation and affection for "Aunt" Helen Storrow, who was one of the organization’s 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 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. The herb garden has since 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.

Storrowton Garden Wish List

Our gardeners have been hard at work to bring our teaching garden back to its original roots. Below is our current wish list:

  • Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
  • Betony (Stachys Officinalis)
  • Broom, Scotch (Cytisus scoparius)
  • Clove Pink / Dianthus (Dianthus Caryophyllus)
  • Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)
  • Ginger, Culinary (Zingiber Officinale)
  • Golden Marguerite or Dyer's Chamomile (Cota Tinctoria; a.k.a. Anthemis Tinctoria)
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)
  • Indigo (Polygonum tinctorium)
  • Lovage (Levisticum Officinale)
  • Madder (Rubia Tinctorium)
  • Perennial Flax (Linum Perenne)
  • Rose Geranium or other Scented Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens, Radens, or Capitatum) Please note that these are different from ornamental geraniums used in window boxes and cemetery plantings.
  • Sage, Meadow (Salvia pratensis)
  • Sage, Tricolor (Salvia Officinalis "Tricolor")
  • Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba Major)
  • Skirret (Sium Sisarum)
  • Teasel (Dipsacus Fullonum or Dipsacus Sativus; D. Sativus preferred)
  • Verbena, a.k.a. Vervain (Verbena Officinalis)
  • Woad (Isatis Tinctoria)

As we are striving for a 19th-century look in our garden plantings, we prefer open-pollinated, non-hybridized, heirloom, or “species” varieties of plants, rather than modern cultivars.

While we do use a few modern varieties that mimic the appearance of heirloom plants or that are close descendants of hard-to-find older varieties, in general, we’re seeking varieties that were in use before 1900.

With a recently renewed interest in historic plants, many growers now helpfully label seeds and plants as “heirloom” or “heritage” varieties, and some even specialize in heirloom varieties.

For a helpful discussion of what “open-pollinated” or “heirloom” means, please read this article on Seed Savers Exchange.

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