Your sense of history meets all your other senses when you step inside this grand garden space, where the splendor of a formal knot garden — just like you’d see in England — is the setting for herbs of all kinds. Period details abound. You can just feel that the garden descended from authentic plans for castle-keeps, great feudal manor houses and hedged Middle Age monastery gardens.
About 3,500 plants grow in this garden, spread throughout nine herbally themed sections. The Knot is surrounded by four quadrants of a fragrance garden comprised of distinctly aromatic herbs and flowers grown through the centuries for their pleasing aromas. Other sections include a trial and cutting garden, dye garden, historic rose garden, culinary garden, medicinal garden, terrace garden and a garden of edible flowers.
The trial and cutting is the largest of the garden sections and features a bed devoted to ever-changing displays. The historic rose walk takes you on a journey back through time, featuring a collection of antique roses that were in existence before 1867. At the end of historic rose walk, you’ll enter the dye Garden. Here, you’ll see plants that have been used for coloring fibers, cosmetics and foods. Plants used for seasoning food thrive in the culinary garden.
Heralded as one of the most significant herb gardens in America, your time spent here will immerse you in the timeless beauty and usefulness of herbs.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Historic Rose Garden became the first in any botanical garden to earn certification from the Herb Society of America in 2012.The garden includes a 1910 horse-watering trough.
- The sundial dates from 1795 from the Shaker Settlement at North Union (now Shaker Square). The booklet says it was made in England
- Members of the Western Reserve Herb Society, a unit of the Herb Society of America, maintain this garden. It replaced one that they cared for in this location here since the mid 1940’s.
- Western Reserve Herb Society harvests this garden throughout the season to make herbal products which are sold at their annual Herb Fair at Cleveland Botanical Garden on the second Saturday of October.