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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, who was one of the organization’s most ardent and generous supporters.

The planting plan was drawn by Grace "Sunny" Hight Kirkwood (1906-1996), an internationally recognized landscape architect, teacher and former Girl Scout from Winchester, Massachusetts. Her other projects included gardens at Radcliffe College, Mount Vernon and Harvard Business School. She was assisted by botanist Helen Maria Fordham Noyes Webster (1875-1949), president of the Herb Society of America and the author of Herbs, How to Grow Them and How to Use Them (1933).

Our garden is filled with plants grown for their usefulness by the early New England settlers. It contains herbs brought over by the Pilgrims, as well as those indigenous to North America. Our garden has evolved into an educational garden, with sections designated for medicinal, culinary, household and textile purposes in the 1800s.

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, we’re use varieties that were in use before 1900 as much as possible.
Support our Gardens
Support our Gardens
Help our volunteer gardeners maintain Aunt Helen's Herb Garden and the Gilbert Farmhouse Kitchen Garden.

Storrowton Garden Wish List

Our gardeners have been hard at work to bring our garden back to its original roots and below is their wish list:

Culinary Plants:

Coriander/Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) • Lovage (Levisticum officinale) • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) •Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) • Thyme, Lemon (Thymus x citriodorus)

Medicinal Plants:

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) • Catnip/mint (Nepeta cataria) • Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea or lutea) • Gentian, Blue (Gentianopsis crinite) • Gentian, Yellow (Gentiana lutea) • Sage, Clary (Salvia sclarea) • Sage, Meadow (Salvia pratensis) • Verbena, a.k.a. Vervain (Verbena officinalis)

Household Plants & Strewing Herbs:

Chamomile, German / Scented Mayweed (Chamomilla recutita) • Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) • Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita) • Geranium, Rose or other Scented Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens, Radens, or Capitatum [NOTE: these are NOT the same as the ornamental geraniums used in window boxes and cemetery plantings]) • Hens & chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) • Jewelweed / Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis) • Lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus) • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) • Sweet maudlin (Achillea ageratum)

Textile & Dye Plants:

Alkanet (Anchusa officinalis) • Chicory (Cichorium intybus) • Cosmos, Sulphur (Cosmos sulphureus) • Dyer’s Broom (Genista tinctoria) • Dyer’s Saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria) • Dyer’s Weld (Reseda luteola) • Madder (Rubia tinctorum) • Purple pincushion flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) • Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) • Saffron (Crocus sativus)

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. We prefer open-pollinated, non-hybridized, heirloom, or “species” varieties of plants. Many growers now helpfully label seeds and plants as “heirloom” or “heritage” varieties, and some even specialize in heirloom varieties.
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