The Renaissance kitchen garden is well underway for its second growing season! Here is a look at my historic garden design and updated botanical list for this year. New design features include a “hops archway”, two decorative main entrance gates and three small gates to enter from throughout the garden. Also installed is a new pea trellis for the large English peas.
*See below for my letter and updates to garden visitors and interested parties for 2014.
2014 Botanical List by Jennie Bergeron-Historic Gardener/Garden Designer
16th Century Renaissance Kitchen Garden
~Botanical List and Map Key~
* 64 plant species
Perennial Plants (39)
1. Angelica archangelica/Angelica (P)
2. Artemesia vulgaris/Mugwort (P)
3. Ruta graveolens/Rue (P)
4. Artemesia absinthium/Wormwood (P)
5. Borago/Borage (P)
6. Viola tricolor/Heartsease (P)
7. Tanacetum parthenium/Feverfew (P/A)
8. Levisticum officinale/Lovage (P)
9. Carthamus tinctora/Safflower (P)
10. Hyssopus officinalis/Hyssop (P)
11. Oenothera biennis/Primrose (P)
12. Salvia officinalis/Green Sage (P)
13. Matricaria recutita/Chamomile (P)
14. Achiillea millefolium/Yarrow (P)
15. Alcea rosea/Nigra Hollyhock (P)
16. Marriubium vulgare/White Horehound (P)
17. Tanacetum vulgare/Tansy (P)
18. Thymus vulgaris/Thyme (P)
19. Fragaria spp. /Renaissance Variety Strawberry
20. Fragaria vesca/Alpine Strawberry (P)
21. Mignonette F. vesca/Strawberry (P)
22. Woodland F. vesca/Strawberry (P)
23. Ruegen F. vesca/Strawberry (P)
24. Pinapple F. vesca/Strawberry (P)
25. Moschata F. vesca/Strawberry (P)
26. Humulus lupulus/Fuggle Hops (P)
27. Humulus lupulus/ Kent Hops (P)
28. Valeriana officinalis/ Valerian (P)*
29. Mentha spp/ True Mint (P)*
30. Inula Helenium/ Elecampane (P)*
31. Lavendula officinalis/ Lavender (P)*
32. Pimpinellla anisum/ Anise (P)*
33. Foenum graecum/ Blue Fenugreek (P)*
34. Plantago major/Broadleaf Plantain (P)*
35. Urtica dioica/ Stinging Nettle (P)*
36. Glycyrrhiza glabra/ Licorice (P)*
37. Arnica Montana / Arnica (P)*
38. Calendula officinalis / Calendula (P)*
39. Echium vulgare/Bugloss (P)
Annual Plants (25)
40. Beta vulgaris/Early Blood Turnip (A)
41. Daucus carota/St. Valery Carrot (A)
42. Petoselinum hortensis/Triple Curled Parsley (A)
43. Cichorium endive/Marachere Tresfine Endive (A)
44. Coriander sativum/Long Standing Coriander
45. Satureja hortensis/Summer Savory (A)
46. Brassica oleracea/Kale (A)
47. Brassica oleracea / Cabbage (red &green) (A)
48. Foeniculum vulgare/Bronze Fennel (A)
49. Allium ampeloprosum/Giant Musselburgh Leek/Scotch Flag(A)
50. Anethum graveolens/Dill Bouquet (A)
51. Allium cepa/Alissa Craig Onion (A)
52. Phaseolus vulgaris/Mayflower Bean (A)*
53. Phaseolus vulgaris /Hutterite soup bean (A)*
54. Phaseolus vulgaris/Dry Bush Bean Mix (A)
55. Cicer arientinum/Tan Garbanzo Bean (A)
56. Cichorium endivia/Flat Leaf Endive/Escarole (A)
57. Brassica rapa/ Purple Top Turnip (A)
58. Vicia faba/Fava/Bell Bean (A)
59. Raphanus sativus/Helios Radish (A)
60. Pisum sativum/Champion of England Pea (A)
61. Ocimum basilicum/Lettuce Leaf Basil (A)
62. Latuca sativa/Ice Queen Lettuce (A)*
63. Lactuca sative / Butterhead Lettuce (A)*
64. Allium sativum / Garlic (A)*
Sixteen plant species added to the 2014 design.
Dear Renaissance Kitchen Garden Visitors, summer, 2014
Welcome to the second growing season of the 16th Century Renaissance kitchen garden recreation at the UMass Renaissance Center. This spring has been a busy time for new plant and design additions in the kitchen garden. The garden is full of “firsts” as the now established perennials really hold their ground. Beginning in February, students in my course Ethnobotany of the Renaisscance, were busy setting seeds in a snow covered UMass greenhouse while studying plant-use in Northern Renaissance Europe. The plants grew well and provided first-hand examples as botany lessons for students. The plants eventually made their way to the UMass Renaissance center where they were planted and additional seeds were sown.
In addition to the 48 plants already present in the garden, sixteen more have been added for a total of 64 annual and perennial plant species. Many of the additions are perennial and include such wonderful herbs as licorice, elecampane, blue fenugreek, arnica, anise, valerian and more common plants such as nettle, true mint and broadleaf plantain. Angelica and valerian are planted together in the far hedge bed near the wormwood and mugwort. Last fall I added more allium family with two varieties of heirloom garlic that seem very happy in their beds. It is always my goal to source plants as accurate to the time period as possible. This year I was able to source older varieties of dry beans named Mayflower and Hutterite soup bean that are just now beginning to sprout.
When you look through the yard towards the kitchen garden you may notice something different. Is your eye drawn to anything tall? The wooden hops archway of my original design is now officially in place at the main entrance, as are the two main gates that artistically close the wattle fence. This large rustic gate and three smaller gates were designed and built by Aaron Evan-Browning, who also constructed the entire wattle fence last season. Enter at the main gate to walk through the first hop-flower catkins and climbing vines of the old kent and fuggle hop varieties. A trellis for the long reaching English peas has also been added in the far corner. This champion pea variety can grow well-over ten feet high with the right support.
Another new part to this year’s kitchen garden is the staff. Due to a physical injury, I will be taking a leave from the Renaissance kitchen garden this season. While I am away I have placed caretaking/maintenance of the garden in the good hands of a student of mine named Ruth diBuono and additional help from UMass farm student interns. Feel free to say hello if you see them working in the garden. It is hard for me to pause this season when the Renaissance garden is fully establishing. The plants I have grown and cared for, the garden I designed and built are now thriving and full of life that I want to share in. But injuries can be part of life too. I will return to check on the progress of this year’s growth at the end of August and thereafter.
Please visit the Renaissance kitchen garden at the UMass Renaissance Center whenever you wish during the Renaissance Center’s open hours. There is always something sprouting, blooming or buzzing in the kitchen garden. The captivating purple and pink flowers of the bugloss, seemingly always ripe alpine strawberries, new seedlings and aroma of herbs and fresh straw paths help to calm a hectic day, into a not so common historical moment.
Thank you for your interest in the 16th Century Renaissance kitchen garden at the UMass Renaissance Center and I look forward to seeing you again. Please see the Renaissance kitchen garden’s Botanical List inside the Gardens and Grounds folder for a complete list of plants found in this recreation and a corresponding guide map.
Historic Gardener/ Garden Designer/Certified Herbalist
New Main Entrance Gate and Hops Archway, pea trellis in background.
Wattle fence expert Aaron Evan-Browning poses with his creation. Aaron built the entire wattle fence himself!
Dry beans sprout in the garden.
Jennie Bergeron tries out the hops archway.
Beautiful Bugloss blossoms, my favorite this year!
Came to the garden, enjoy the plants and the new fence. I look forward to seeing you there!
Jennie Bergeron-Historic Gardener/Garden Designer/Certified Herbalist