Historic Gardens Weekend

A Feast for Garden Lovers – 30 June-1 July

Interested in plants, their uses and history? Add our Historic Gardens Weekend to your diary!

At the end of June our gardening team will put down their tools for a short while to create beautiful displays, lead guided walks through our historic gardens and put on demonstrations to explain the fascinating properties of plants.

Today we use gardens as a room outside, with a strong leisure focus, as well as sometimes producing some food. But this luxury wasn’t available to the inhabitants of the historic homes you can visit at the Museum. Herbs for health, vegetables and herbs for the pot (as well as for strewing in the home) and other purposes made the garden an essential space for the wellbeing of the family.

On each day there will be a series of 10-minute talks as well as demonstrations and displays covering the day’s theme (see below).

New this year

Medicinal herbalist and author, Christina Stapley, will hold a mini-residency from Wednesday 27 June – Sunday 1 July, which coincides with the end of the Historic Gardens Weekend.

She will focus on different topics every day:

  • Native British herbs on Wednesday 27 June
  • Roman and Anglo-Saxon plants on Thursday 28 June
  • Influences of Arabic and North American plants on Friday  29 June
  • 16th century botanist and herbalist John Gerard and his famous herbal and history of plant on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July.

Christina will also be giving an evening talk, Drugs from Natural Sources, on Thursday 28 June, and she tutors a range of hands-on workshops for our course programme.

About our historic gardens

Throughout the year our gardeners work hard in our seven period gardens to ensure the pests are kept at bay and produce, from Bayleaf farmhouse garden for example, can be used in the Tudor kitchen giving visitors an insight into the way food was produced 500 years ago and more. From the upkeep of fencing in the early months of the year, to planting and protecting young plants in the spring to harvesting in the autumn and planning for the following year, the activity in our gardens is non-stop!