Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Miller’s House Garden

A look into the past with heirloom plants.

The Miller’s House Garden will be on Historic Bethlehem Partnership’s “Outdoor Rooms to View” House Tour on Saturday, June 6th. The garden is located next to Luckenbach Mill in the Bethlehem Colonial Industrial Quarter along the Monocacy Creek on Old York Road.

Dedicated 1989, the garden has been planned, planted and maintained by the Bethlehem Garden Club. The garden is representative of a Victorian Era garden – the time period when the grist mill was rebuilt after a fire.

According to the Miller’s House Garden Committee’s research of early Bethlehem gardens, “Climbing roses and wisteria made spectacular displays all around town.” In today’s garden, Wisteria sinensis (circa 1816) grows against the Memorial Garden wall. Rose Zaphirine drouhin (circa 1868) climbs the arbor in the Rose Garden.


In the Kitchen Gardens, Hyacinth Bean Lablab purpurea (circa 1804) with attractive purple flowers and purple bean pods twines itself around a black metal obelisk. The hyacinth bean was once grown in Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello gardens. The beans were used dried making it a good winter staple. Also included are the heirloom tomato Lycopersicon esculentum Yellow Pear (predates 1800) and many herbs.

Herbs used for seasoning, drying and medicines are abundant in the Herb Garden. Lavender, oregano, sage, hyssop, chives, dill, feverfew, thyme, and horehound grow as examples of what might have been used in this era.

Gooseberry Ribes hirtellum (circa 1750) for gooseberry jam as well as currents Ribes triste (circa 1750) and rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum (circa 1800) grow in the Mary Christman Memorial garden.

Yarrow, globe thistle, larkspur, pineapple sage, salvia, verbascum, peony and catmint are among the many flowering plants in the Drying Garden and Fragrant Garden.

A new Hillside Garden, started last year, contains examples of shrubs, grasses and perennials popular with later Victorian era gardeners. The Shed Garden is host to dogwood, sweet shrub and other flowering plants and trees.

The German four-square style garden is an adventure in garden history.

A complete list of plants will be available on the June 6th “Rooms to View” House Tour.

Master Gardeners will be available throughout the day with helpful gardening information and will be happy to talk to you about your gardening triumphs or troubles.


Chandramouli S said...

The best thing I like about the victorian gardens are the arches and roses! They somehow looks so picture perfect, as if they're evergreen! GReat photos, Marie!

Marie said...

Thanks, CS. Roses on an arbor make a pretty picture.