I didn’t bring any books to work with me today to look at so I was browsing
online first instead, for some good articles on getting started! :) As I was
scanning around, I found a nice photo of a wattle fence on this page. Just
thought it was worth a share.
I also thought the tools they mentioned on this page sounded interesting. I’d
like to dig deeper into these bird scarers.
While I’m sharing I enjoyed looking over these articles, as well —
The Medieval Herb Garden
Medieval Herb Garden Plants
Oh boy, a nice warm week. The days of longer daylight are approaching. I don’t
get home from work ’til 6 pm so I need those hours to get things done outside!
Aside from the need to construct an enclosure around my garden and getting some seeds/plants going (and waiting to see if anything else pops back out), my small allotment is in reasonably good shape. I still have to finish reading through some nice loaned books I have to peruse for more information before I do dig my fingers in and get officially started! But I am just about ready….. :)
Someone asked me….What makes the garden medieval style?
My response was,
Ahhh, THAT has been exactly what I had to discover. Well you see, back then they grew gardens for various purposes: culinary, medicinal, or household use. (Some things fell in multiple categories!) Only few things were purely ornamental. I aim to shoot for culinary herbs, perhaps with some household ones too. Next is to discover — yep, which ones they grew and used for what. IUt seems that some plants were actually quite different back then than the are now….! For example, Dianthus. It used to be strong and tasty but now not so much so it’s our ornamental plant.
Well, that’s the start of my knowledge journey so far, at least! :)
Oh yes and also somewhat in the styling. For one thing I plan to build a natural fence to go around it. There’s a great photo on this first link up there. And some other great info on the other ones.
One more response I have to my “Getting Started” process. Here is some interesting finds I dug out of one of the books today. These are my paraphrased notes from “The Early English Kitchen Garden.” Thought this might be of interest.
Medieval man had a dependence on plants for his medicinal needs, food, and livelihood.
Nobility could move about their domain as the local resources were exhausted. The local peasants’ land was intruded upon by the nobility, which the peasants resented. The nobility erected high walls about their households in order to protect themselves and to exclude the peasants.
The gardens of churches were different. Monastery gardens served to shelter the monks from distractions, and allow them to focus their attention toward God. The enclosed cloister garden was a representation of the Garden of Eden and was used for worship and meditation.
Peasants were required to work for nobility for three days, and three days for himself. The church required that he worship God on the seventh day. So he had little time for aesthetic pleasures. Peasants in their agrarian lifestyle worked so closely with nature that they had a profound appreciation for it. They were tied to the land out of necessity and understood the seasonal cycles and whims of nature.
All of these groups had kitchen gardens which produced vegetables, herbs, and fruit for their home consumption. The nobility depended on the peasants for large amounts of crops, but they had their own medicinal and culinary gardens inside their fortified residences.
Kitchen gardens were of vital importance to monasteries because the monks’ diets were restricted due to Benedictine Rule. They were only to eat vegetables, beans, peas and fruit; meat was reserved for sick brothers. The hortus also functioned as a place to grow seed for future crops. Monastery records, especially those from St. Gall (A.D. 830), provided valuable information about kitchen gardens during the medieval period. But little information is available about the kitchen garden of the peasants.
The need for the kitchen garden was universal to all, as was the need to enclose it. The earliest enclosures were European and of circular form. These could defend a space, grow food, and provide storage and privacy. It was close to home and grew fruits and vegetables to provide for the family’s needs – these were the two basic features, enclosure and convenient production.
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A group for members of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and anyone who enjoys recreating medieval style Renaissance gardens of old, or just wants to talk about them!
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