Colonial Herb Garden

Colonial spring treesThe Colonial Garden evokes a time when man relied heavily on plants for his daily needs. This garden is filled with culinary, medicinal and ornamental plants from the colonial era. Herbs are quite incredible! The design is reminiscent of a period garden with a formal layout and mixed plantings. Heirloom roses grow just outside the fence and face the canal.

In colonial Virginia, it was considered a great luxury to have a strictly ornamental garden, and even those lucky enough to be considered well-to-do incorporated useful plants into their pleasure gardens. The Colonial Garden here at the Norfolk Botanical Garden gives visitors an idea of what might have been seen in a typical upper middle class garden of that era. There is a mix of both ornamental plants, such as boxwood, hydrangeas, and flowers grown for the vase, as well as useful culinary and medicinal herbs. Just as we do today, culinary herbs were used by our ancestors to enhance and vary the flavor of many foods and beverages. Herbs are quite incredible!

Click here for a printable herb plant list.

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Plants to look for:
Spring: Dogwood, Hollyhock, Lily of the Valley, Sweetshrub
Summer: Fennel, Rose, Verbascum
Fall: Hydrangea, Joe-Pye Weed
Winter: Boxwood, Rosemary