Harb Garden

Herb Garden Pic

The Arboretum's Herb garden was designed as a replica of a typical 1700s herb garden with medicinal, culinary, and strewing herbs. The garden is a delight to the eye and other senses. The scent of lavender, lemon balm, and rosemary fill the air on warm, sunny July mornings. Visitors find it difficult to resist pinching a sprig to enjoy the intoxicating aromas. The Herb garden is approximately thirty five feet by twenty feet and located at the northern end of the arboretum near the Butterfly garden. It nestles in an old field stone foundation creating the impression of an informal terrace or raised planting beds. The garden is sunken approximately two feet below grade with brick and stone lining the bottom. The foundation is thought to be from John Cragin's house. His house was moved to South Acton sometime in the late 1700's leaving the foundation behind and joined onto the Faulkner House; Acton's earliest house and now a Museum.. The blue flowers of baptisia and a soft carpet of thyme thrive in this sun-loving garden. Throughout the garden's season, flowers, fruit, and foliage take visitors back to colonial times when the herb garden was a mainstay of life and health. The Town of Acton and Friends of the Arboretum appreciate the Acton Garden Club's time, effort, and dedication to planting and maintaining this unique garden. With the help of the Town's tree warden, Dean Charter, the outer perimeter of the garden was designed to complement the plantings in the Herb garden. Old fashioned purple and white lilacs (Syringa) accent the greens and grays of the herbs. While herbs, the dainty white flowers of the silverbell (Halesia) create a stunning spring display. In the fall, birds are drawn to the garden to feast on the berries of the bayberries. Other ornamentals include: yellow flowered Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry) growing along the north side, Japanese flowering quince (Chaenomeles) running along the south, and the Ilex glabra (Inkberry) along the west.