St Ives Bingley – Historical Herb Garden
In 2008 it began with the huge task of clearing, not only weeds and scrub, but substantial amounts of rubbish.
Sheltered with 350 year old stone walls, the garden stands within the Mansion complex, behind large gates facing towards the Coach House.
The initial clearing to allow the beds to be laid out, was carried out by brave volunteers from FOSI, BTCV, and the local community. After much research and discussion, the garden’s design was agreed in April 2010, and soon after, the beds and paths were constructed.
We soon discovered that a garden in the centre of a Country Estate, with seeds blowing here and there, is an ideal growing environment for weeds!
So whilst, with help from specialists, we were designing the planting of our beds, the weeds grew and grew.
FOSI, with the help of kind volunteers have continuously battled with the weeds at St Ives Bingley.
Our specialist consultants are Jane Ramsden (a Medicinal Herbalist), Hilary Dodson (an Historical Fruiting Trees expert), and Jill Saunders (Head Gardener of East Riddlesden Hall).
We began planting in Spring 2011, starting with our old species of fruit trees, such as Cats Head and Dog’s Snout apples. Old varieties of heavily scented Roses were also planted in the outer beds. Once the designs for the four central beds were completed, planting commenced in Summer 2011 with varieties of herbs. A central circular bed was created and a Mulberry tree planted.
During Summer 2012, we have planted five further specialist beds with herbs. These are; a culinary bed, an aromatic bed, a brewing bed, a textile dyeing bed and a medicinal bed. To enable gardeners of all abilities to join and enjoy keeping with the garden, two raised beds have been constructed.
We hope that this garden will not only inform and educate, but be a beautiful, peaceful and relaxing place to dwell, and so to this end we have placed within five seats. The flowers and fruits should encourage birds, insects and butterflies to visit and to sustain therein.
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