The Umass Renaissance garden continues to thrive this season!

The annual plants are beginning to pass by as the perennials grow thicker and taller. I am thoroughly impressed with the vitality of the Borage, still in bloom since June with new plants sprouting up every week. It’s bright blue-purple blossoms are regularly visited by the bumble bees who live in the garden shed. It seems to be a perfect harmony of bee and flower.


Borage and Bublebee approaching blossom

Primrose has been in bloom from August to September with it’s elegant, pale yellow flowers. They were used for salads in the Renaissance, as were Borage flowers pictured above. Long stems grow from the main plant mound and produce medium large yellow flowers.



Other plants currently in bloom include the very tall bronze fennel, endive that has gone to seed but has beautiful blue flowers, the ever powerful rue with is flesh-rotting fragrant flowers, hyssop, chamomile and strawberry.

I will be making infusions from hyssop, horehound, sage and chamomile for guests at THIS SATURDAYS GARDEN DAY TOUR FROM 3-5PM. Stop by and check out the new additions of Renaissance era strawberries and more!


The very proud cabbage, after being spared by the groundhog!


Bronze Fennel in Bloom

The wattle fence is almost complete! Creation of four gates is currently underway to provide different entry points to the space.


Garden Abundance, kale, yarrow, hops, tansy, carrots, fence pictured here.

I’m leaving what we can safely leave in the ground until the harvest banquet November 2nd, but with all the near freezing nights recently, I though it a good idea to harvest the onion crop. I was pleased with the size of the harvest, they did well. I have also been harvesting dry beans, fava beans and other dry herb seeds for next years plantings.

September Cell Photos 045 Alisa Craig Onions

Rue Flowering September Cell Photos 018

September Cell Photos 006

Chamomile Flowering

September Cell Photos 011

Cranberry Beans Drying

September Cell Photos 055

Purple Top Turnips

Upcoming events include the UMass multi-gardens event this Saturday, free! Renaissance Garden from 3pm-5pm

The Renaissance Harvest Banquet November 2nd. Contact the Renaissance center for banquet ticket information.

More early fall updates soon. Until then, happy harvesting!

-Jennie Bergeron, Historical Gardener and Garden Designer at the UMass Renaissance Center