For gardeners with a sense of history

OE wyrtig, adj: Garden-like, full of plants;
On anum wyrtige hamme, Homl. Skt. ii. 30:312




Early gardens

Early plants

Growing heirloom plants

Garden folklore

Resources for gardeners

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Early Gardens


A Timeline of Early Sources of information about gardens and plants (600 BCE - 1300 CE)


Early Gardens in Britain

Vernacular gardens


Iron Age gardens

What phytoliths can tell us abut early gardens

Romano-British Gardens

Auctoritas in the Garden: What Plants did the Romans Really Introduce to Britain?


Gardens of post-Roman Britain, 450-1400 CE



Church and monastery gardens

Canterbury Cathedral, 1165 CE


Mount Grace Priory-A restored late medieval herb garden

The plants of Mount Grace Priory

The gardeners of Mt. Grace

Ground plan of Mt. Grace

A Carthusian elixir

Castle and manor gardens

The Garden of Henricus Anglicus

Plants in Henry's garden

The garden beds: North, south, east, and west

Gardens of toft and croft

Charter landscapes: Fields, gardens, and plants in Anglo-Saxon England

Complete boundary description from S644

Gardens in the Domesday Book

Labors of the Months and what they can tell us about medieval gardens and gardeners

Medieval seasons

Roman and Carolingian month names

Anglo-Saxon month names

Medieval farming practice and three-field farming

Sample calendars showing the "Labors"

Fulda Sacramentary




Place Names, Landscapes, and Settlement Features

Examples of Place Names with Plant Elements

Resources on Plant Names


Early continental gardens


Charlemagne's Capitulare de Villis, c. 800 CE

Plants of the Capitulare

Charlemagne's estate at Asnapium, in 8th Century France

The Plan of St Gall, Reichenau, c. 820 CE

         The plants of St. Gall

Walafrid Strabo's Hortulus

Imagining Walafrid's Hortulus

Medicinal uses of plants in Walafrid's Hortulus


Medieval garden tools

About the Astute Reeve

Medieval baskets

Sources on early tools

     Tools used to:

Prepare the garden

Plant the garden

Cultivate the garden

Harvest the garden and store the produce


  Sources: Early gardens


Plantain, from a very early Greek herbal

Plantain, from an early herbal


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Botanists are among those who know that, in spite of the rude shocks of life,
it is well to have lived, and to have seen the everlasting beauty of the world.
F.D. Drewitt


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