Shaker herb garden

veilchen(5b southern Maine)December 31, 2004

As you may have seen in my previous post, the museum director asked if I could help design a Shaker herb garden on the grounds to coincide with a Shaker exhibit they'll be having in mid-August.

Luckily the location is sunny. I do need to figure out where/how to site it though. I can research the traditional varieties, probably get some advice by contacting Sabbathday or that one in NH, but am wondering about the general layout. As in, did/do the Shakers grow herbs in a raised bed setting, square plot design, rows, etc.?

Would welcome all your advice!

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I have visited the Shaker village at Hancock (Mass.) a few times and I remember seeing square beds with rows--no raised beds as far as I can remember. That was in the summer, and I did not think they were as well kept as the Shakers would have liked it. At least, plants were marked so I could learn some new plants..

I found a site that might help you:
Shaker gardens

That sounds like a great project. Good luck,

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 9:14AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

Thanks Anne-Marie. I'm sure I'll find lots of info on the web, and saw a book in the Pinetree seed catalog that I will have our library order. We also need to decide how large it will be while fitting in with the other landscaping at the museum.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 9:18AM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH(4b-5aNH)

Here's a link to the Canterbury NH Shaker village. They are closed now, but during the season they have fairly extensive herb and vegetable gardens. I know that they do have an herb day every year, I think in late spring/early summer. They will open for the year in mid-May. If you go back to the home page, there is an aerial photo of the village. In the upper right corner of the photo you can see the vegie gardens, and the herb gardens are off the photo in the upper left corner. The herb gardens are on a bit of a slope and my memory is that they were low raised beds with wooden edges when I last visited there. I don't know if that's how they were originally grown, but you might be able to contact someone there who could help you. I'll try to find some time to swing over there were it's not quite so cold and windy. If there isn't too much snow, I'll take a look to see what the gardens currently look like.

There is also a Shaker village at Sabathday Lake, ME, which I think is near Poland Spring, and a few remaining buildings in a museum at Enfield, NH.

Here is a link that might be useful: Canterbury Shaker gardens

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 11:47AM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH(4b-5aNH)

Well, there was a foot of snow, so I went XC skiing Canterbury Shaker Village. I did swing by the herb gardens where there were plant stalks sticking up through the snow. I groped around in the snow and didn't find any wooden edges. The beds are laid out as rectangles that are 3 or 4 feet wide.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 6:06AM
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