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Apothecary gardens....what would you recommend?

 
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forest garden foraging medical herbs
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As a general rule, I focus on growing plants native to my corner of the world, but I will concede there are some nice European/Eurasian plants that would be sort of classic for a walled apothecary garden, in addition to culinary herbs used medicinally and the many good ideas already mentioned. Here are some ideas, trying not to repeat those already listed.

lungwort / our lady's milk drops
bugleweed / Ajuga
lady's mantle
Angelica
wormwood/mugwort/absinthium (one or more)
chamomile
butter and eggs/linaria
violets
cleavers
motherwort
eyebright
agrimony
skullcap


 
Posts: 74
Location: Australia
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Hey,

eucalypts,
acacias, so many variations and uses. plus nitrogen fixer.
liniment tree
bauhinia
morinda
pigweed/purslane
sarsaparilla
mountian pepper/ pepper tree
Willow
Liquorish
Myrtle
Sugar cane
Pig face
billygoat weed
acalypha wikesiana
quinine
the weed doc
coconuts
honey bees
water chestnut
iodine accumilators of any sort
prayer pea
fresh water mangroves
bloodwood
lemon grass
diospyros maritima
morigna
nightshades
hemlock
comfrey
purple loosestrife
tumeric
flax
tea tree
echinecea
lavender
camomile
garlic
feverfew
ginger
gingko
ginseng
saint johns worth
varlerian
dandelion
goats foot
bitter melon
opium poppies
neuro effecting hemp.
nettle
chickweed
myrrh
mandrake
cinchona tree
coffee
coca
ephendra
devils pepper
mahonia
vinca minor
rose periwinkle
Aloe
rhubarb
lilly of the valley
foxglove
fennel
chickens
massons pine
birch tree
Maggots

Please reply if you need more information!





 
gardener
Posts: 607
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Wow, wonderful suggestions!

I love apothecary gardens and I am fascinated by the history of walled gardens (of monasteries). The Hortus conclusus is the mother of our modern gardens and here in Central Europe they were the first places to introduce mediterranean herbs like basil, thyme, bay leaves and similar and even plants from "oriental" areas like Turkey and beyond, e.g. the lily. They were pushing the zone long before the term existed!
The apothecary garden was a necessity for monasteries as one of the main purposes of those (e.g. the Benedictines) was the care of the sick.

There are three important manuscripts which built the foundation of those gardens in Europe:
"Capitulare de villis", introduced by Charlemagne, King of the Franks, around 800, and probably written by a monk. It lists 73 herbs for healing and condimenting purposes.
"Garden plan of Monastery St. Gallen" written around 820 near Lake Constance which gives a real floor plan for the garden layout.
"Hortulus" of Walahfrid Strabo, written around 840 also near Lake Constance. Apart from medicinal plants he also lists ornamentals like roses, lily and iris.

In traditional Bavarian gardens (probably those of other regions as well) there was a dedicated space for medicinal herbs. Some weeks ago we visited the open air museum south of Munich (which I absolutely love) and there are various traditional gardens, one dedicated to "new" crops brought from the Americas, one for dying plants, one for medicinal plants. Sorry, don't have a close-up shot.

For a visual treat, have a look at the 500 years old manuscript Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne. Not strictly medicinal plants, but worthwhile.
The illustrations of the plants and their visiting insects are breathtaking:
Drawing of plants
You can even browse in the book under this link: Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne
(The illustrations are used by botanists and biologists to compare the ancient variety of species to today's)

Many of you may know of Hildegard von Bingen and her great knowledge of apothecary herbs and plants and their uses. You can buy seed mixtures here in Germany based on some of her recipes.
Well, I stop here - as you can see, I am a bit of a nerd regarding apothecary plants and their history!

heilgarten_glentleitn.JPG
Traditional garden with medicinal herbs
Traditional garden with medicinal herbs
 
Alex Moffitt
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Echinacea, elderberry, witch hazel and Aloe. Mint, lemon balm, calendula, verbenna, comfrey, lavender, St John's wort, yarrow.. I can do this all night :)

I don't think there's much that wouldn't work in a walled garden. :D



Hey pearl,

I feel it would be fun to do some sort of challenge against you!
Would you be interested in doing something of the likes such as first to find 200 medicinal plants in the bush wins. or first to name 1000 medicinal plants.
Or first to make 10 different poultices and tinctures.
 
Marisa Lee
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Wonderful info, Anita! I love the drawings you linked to.

I thought of a couple more, which have been introduced here (in my yard) due to their usefulness and traditional place in European gardens: speedwell/Veronica and yellow archangel/Lamium. Oh, shepherd’s purse is another medicinal basically considered weed around here.

Alex, I like your idea and think you should definitely do it, whether Pearl will join you in a challenge or not. While this is slightly off topic, my passion is identifying wild plants where I live (the western end of Lake Superior) and researching their traditional names and uses within my heritage. I have more than 600 on my life list, but couldn’t say off the top of my head how many were actually growing wild versus how many I saw in gardens; or how many were herbs versus shrubs, vines and trees; or how many were medicinal. But that sounds like fun data to crunch so I might spend some time with my spreadsheet today!

I post the plants I see & info about them here: www.Instagram.com/mywildwisconsin and keep my log here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zLRyOZv3lfOI9yFLB1mQcigky7YhFmzRHzHe1g5JAF0/edit
 
steward & bricolagier
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Alex Moffitt wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:Echinacea, elderberry, witch hazel and Aloe. Mint, lemon balm, calendula, verbenna, comfrey, lavender, St John's wort, yarrow.. I can do this all night :)

I don't think there's much that wouldn't work in a walled garden. :D



Hey pearl,

I feel it would be fun to do some sort of challenge against you!
Would you be interested in doing something of the likes such as first to find 200 medicinal plants in the bush wins. or first to name 1000 medicinal plants.
Or first to make 10 different poultices and tinctures.


Oh, there are people on permies who could outdo me easily! Herbs may at some point be a specialty for me, but right now they are not my best skill :)
 
Alex Moffitt
Posts: 74
Location: Australia
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home care building woodworking
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Alex Moffitt wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:Echinacea, elderberry, witch hazel and Aloe. Mint, lemon balm, calendula, verbenna, comfrey, lavender, St John's wort, yarrow.. I can do this all night :)

I don't think there's much that wouldn't work in a walled garden. :D



Hey pearl,

I feel it would be fun to do some sort of challenge against you!
Would you be interested in doing something of the likes such as first to find 200 medicinal plants in the bush wins. or first to name 1000 medicinal plants.
Or first to make 10 different poultices and tinctures.


Oh, there are people on permies who could outdo me easily! Herbs may at some point be a specialty for me, but right now they are not my best skill :)


Pearl Sutton wrote:

Alex Moffitt wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:Echinacea, elderberry, witch hazel and Aloe. Mint, lemon balm, calendula, verbenna, comfrey, lavender, St John's wort, yarrow.. I can do this all night :)

I don't think there's much that wouldn't work in a walled garden. :D



Hey pearl,

I feel it would be fun to do some sort of challenge against you!
Would you be interested in doing something of the likes such as first to find 200 medicinal plants in the bush wins. or first to name 1000 medicinal plants.
Or first to make 10 different poultices and tinctures.


Oh, there are people on permies who could outdo me easily! Herbs may at some point be a specialty for me, but right now they are not my best skill :)



I love your humility and I will be sure to remember about your herbs skills,

Back to the topic.
I think any apothecary garden must have a way of producing charcoal,
Must have chickens,
for the eggs,
the calcium plus When someone is sick having eggs is really useful for helping them gain strength.
Must have bees,
for the honey, Swiss army knife of a product,
Must have maggots,
clean wounds feed chickens.

Must have a sterilising system,

Must have a pain reliever

Must have something for skin treatment of rashes, burns, infections, reduce inflammation,

Must have something for digestion and stomach pains, something to help with sleeping,

Must have something to help with sinuses and respiration,

Must have a dental applications,

Must have something to treat tape worms,

Must have a good source of vitamin c,

Must have a good source of Iodine,

Must have a good source of alkaloids, salicylic acid, glycosides, tannins, phytoestrogens, terpenes,

A common aspect has been a way to Abort a pregnancy, Its sad but historically true,

one of the largest issues is nutrition, people not having enough food and clean water,
getting them, clean, fed, watered, rested, and helping the body with its own recovery, is one of the main aspects of medieval medicine. But the biggest aspect is to use all the senses, smell, touch, hearing, listen to the patient and their body. Many modern medical practitioners lack these essential skills, relying on specialist machinery, to find out what can be easily discovered by palpating.

And another key point is access, Restricting access to reduce potential risks to animals and children.


As for plants, there are so many to choose from its best to reduce the options by Appling the idea of what aspects do you want to include, what do you want to be able to treat, is this an educational garden, is it a practicing garden.

what do you want to achieve,
do you want to think about how each plant will work in the system.
aesthetics, harvest, functionality, cost, climate, efficiency, space, work requirements.

Thank you for listening,





 
Marisa Lee
Posts: 113
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Alex, I think your approach of focusing on specific functions is very reasonable - ask yourself what you want to do/treat, and choose plants accordingly. This makes more sense than a list of plants (many of which will not grow everywhere for everyone). I will use this idea to assess what I'm growing and what gaps I need to address, so that I have a better sense of what to add. Thanks for this!
 
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