Herb gardens at Hever Castle – Feature Fridays

September 18 2020 | Garden History

Herb gardens is the theme for this week’s #FeatureFridays with Historic Houses.

Running alongside the Yew Maze (currently closed) and bordering the outer moat of the Castle the herb garden at Hever Castle lies within the Tudor Garden, a series of small, sheltered gardens with neatly clipped hedges.

Laid out as they might have been in the time of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, as well as the herb garden, the Tudor Garden features a paved fountain garden with a profusion of Ballerina shrub roses; and a chess garden which boasts chess pieces cut from golden yew as well as an astrolabe dating from the reign of Queen Anne.

When planting the herb garden, the gardening team chose herbs dependent on the section, i.e. herbs for decking, herbs for strewing, herbs for the kitchen and herbs for the physic.

Herbs for decking include the likes of angelica, lilies, hollyhock, heartsease, wallflower, lavender, pinks, marigold, snapdragon and rosemary.

Herbs for strewing were fragrant plants used in medieval times that were strewn on the floor to add a welcome scent to the room in a bid to mask bodily and other odours.

For example, lavender, mullein, cotton lavender, marjoram, basil and sweet fennel.

Herbs for the kitchen include a wide variety such as saffron, fennel, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, tansy, marigold and borage.

Herbs for the physic were traditionally used for medicinal and healing purposes, such as sweet woodruff, feverfew, peony, lavender, balm, southernwood, rosemary, borage and hellebore.

If you enjoyed this item on herb gardens, then why not discover the previous #FeatureFridays news items:• Musical instruments
Secret passageways
American Connections
Priest Holes