A Welsh Herb Garden

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

A Welsh Herb Garden

July 25, 2018 Half a Hundred Herbs 0
rosa gallica against a wall, overlooking a valley

R Gallica

At Ty Mawr, there is a herb garden, filled with herbs that would have been in common use in the local area in the sixteenth century. It was designed with the same loving care as the one at Kilmartin, which I visited and wrote about last year, but the dry weather left it looking a liitle more exposed.

herb bed with low fence of hazel wattle

raised bed

This is not the pristine romantic herb garden of the coffee table books. Many of the plants are the kind that we pull out as weeds

bed with plantain and yarrow

medicinal herbs

This bed contains medicinal herbs – plantain and yarrow, pulmonaria (lungwort) and chamomile, and this is tansy

bed of tansy plants under an apple tree

tansy

which may have been used once as a spring green herb (this is NOT recommended) but is still used as a dyeplant, producing a range of clear yellows and dark sludgy greens.

There were fruit trees and some currant bushes, and at one time there had been vegetables, but there isn’t the volunatry labour here to maintain those beds, so only the herbs, which take much less management, survive. Bt this garden was, I think, the high point of the holiday. I am delighted to see the care that is being taken to reclaim and preserve local herbal traditions.

 

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