marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Medieval Garden

The Medieval Garden by Sylvia Landsberg

All about the medieval garden in England.  All sorts of variety and uses and what can be pieced together for the facts.. 

The herber, which is the walled garden you probably think of with flowers, and trees (mostly for shade, gardeners are actually cautioned not to dig up the ground and manure them much, despite the effect on fruit), and grass.  Lots of grass, sometimes watered to keep it green because green had restful effects.  Sometimes it would have flowers growing in it like thyme, but they had to be low growing because the grass was scythed, and it actually took some time for the lawnmower to catch up in closeness to a scyther.

There were two others common:

The orchard, enclosed in walls for various reason -- one being that it had to be enclosed to qualify as an orchard.  Some held only one kind of trees, but others held several.

And the small park.  This faded into the hunting park, but its purpose was to let you walk about and appreciate

Dovecotes.  The true dove, the little white bird you think of, has the advantage that it doesn't eat garden plants, so you can easily put it next to the garden and use the manure easily.

All the various gardens that a monastery would have.  And what can be deduced about peasant gardens.

The growing coppices -- trees that had been cut down and responded by putting out a whole bunch of sprouts. They would be harvested every few years to provide poles for fencing.

What could be eaten.  What were true weeds and what they probably let grow and then ate.

A fascinating look at an odd corner of medieval life.  With glances up and down the social scale. 
Tags: history reviews: medieval, world-building: food, world-building: social structure

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