The Herb Garden at Heathcote Botanical Gardens was started by the Heathcote Herb Society in 1994 after an herb gardening workshop brought together a diverse group of herb lovers. Heathcote’s Gardener, Miriam Charles, was a founding member of the Herb Society. She continues to search out rare and unusual herbs and starts many of them from seed. Miriam’s particular interest is in Salvias, and you will find many lovely specimens in the Herb Garden and in Heathcote’s Color Beds.
Heathcote’s Herb Society
The herbs in Heathcote’s Garden range from culinary to medicinal. Some are also sources of dyes and ornamental dried bouquets. Yarrow, Rosemary, Pennyroyal and Lavender, and the seed heads of Dill and Fennel make nice dried arrangements. Basil and Bay, in addition to their culinary uses, symbolize friendship and loyalty. Geraniums are for comfort and, of course, Rosemary is for remembrance. You may also be familiar with Rose Hips as being a source of Vitamin C. Culinary herbs provided the inspiration for the Herb Society’s cookbook, Heathcote Gems: Herb Inspired Recipes, which is available in the Gift Shop.
During the Dark Ages, monasteries were repositories of learning, and it was there that Fiacre became skilled at the use of healing herbs. Bishop Faro, viewed Fiacre’s act as a gift from God and proclaimed it a miracle.The statue in the Herb Garden is a representation of St. Fiacre (pron. Fee-ah-kruh), an Irish monk whose feast is celebrated in Ireland and France on September 1st. He is the patron saint of gardeners (and taxi-drivers and florists among other things).