Sunday, September 15, 2013

Green Bay Botanical Garden Herb Beds

Green Bay Botanical Garden stated mission is to stimulate an appreciation for and an understanding of the world of horticulture and the enduring relationships between plants and people. Through their volunteers and staff, they serve people of all ages by providing year-round educational and recreational experiences within an environment that enriches, inspires and refreshes.

The Wellhouse at
Green Bay Botanical Garden

The Wellhouse, housing the garden’s well, has moon windows framing three important garden features: the pastoral Larsen Orchard remnant to the left, the Kress Oval to the right, and the Wellhouse garden straight ahead as you enter.

The Wellhouse Garden

The Wellhouse garden is a summer garden featuring a boxwood and barberry parterre in patterns meant to be ‘read’ from above. The garden is edged with herb display beds featuring various medicinal, culinary, and ornamental plants. 

An display bed planted and maintained by the NEWHSA. 
Every year, the herb of the year, as designated by the International Herb Society, is prominently featured.  The  2013 herb of the year is Elder (Sambuscus).

The butterfly bed is planted with bedding plants with sparkling
glass gems interspersed among them.

The butterfly bed features a different butterfly each year with handouts available for visitors interest in learning more about that butterfly.  In 2013 the Karner Blue, a native of Wisconsin, was featured.

The Karner blue was federally listed as an endangered species in 1992. Although the species is rare nationwide, it is relatively common in Wisconsin, especially where pine barrens, oak savannas, and mowed corridors support wild lupine, the only food of the Karner blue caterpillar.  More Karner blues live in Wisconsin than anywhere in the world! Karner blues depend on the wild lupine plant, a beautiful purple wildflower that thrives in the central and northwestern portions of the state. The land management that has been practiced by the forestry industry, corridor managers and the state has ensured the continued existence of the Karner blue in these areas.

Karner blue female
Karner blue female
Karner blue male
Karner blue male

The angel trellis sits among herbs in the "Bible bed" which
features herbs mentioned in the Bible.

Herbs mentioned in the Bible or associated with Christianity include:

Aloe (Aquilari agalloche) is believed to be the only tree descended to man from the Garden of Eden.

(Numbers 24:6) Like valleys that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is referenced several times in the Old Testament.

(Exodus 16:31) Now the house of Israel called its name manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is an herb native to the upper areas of the Nile, mentioned in the Bible, along with Mint (Mentha sp.), when Jesus reproved the scribes.

(Matthew 23:23) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."

Garlic (Allium sativum) is mentioned only once in the Bible. It was held in great esteem by the ancient Egyptians.

(Numbers 11:5) "We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic."

Hyssop (Sorghum vulgare) is known as the holy herb. Hyssop was used to cleanse the temples and other sacred places of the Egyptians. David mentions hyssop in Psalms 51:7. Hyssop as we know it may or may not be the hyssop mentioned by David. There is some debate since the derivation of the name hyssop is in the Greek word hussopos and the Hebrew esob, meaning simply, "holy herb."

(Psalms 51:7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Mustard (Brassica nigra) is described in Matthew 13:31 as "the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."

Rose (Rosa spp.) The name for a rose is almost the same in every European language. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs.

(Isaiah 35:1) The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the rose.

Rue (Ruta graveolens) has long been the symbol of sorrow and repentance, and may have been nicknamed the "herb of grace" in Christian times for the grace given by God following repentance for one’s sins. Brushes made from rue were once used to sprinkle holy water at the ceremony preceding High Mass.

(Luke 11:42) "But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others."

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is frequently mentioned in Scripture, always for its bitterness. According to legend, wormwood grew up in the trail left by the serpent’s tail as it slithered out of the Garden of Eden.

(Jeremiah 23:15) Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: "Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone forth into all the land."

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a symbol of fidelity and remembrance once used in the holiest of Christian ceremonies, the wedding and the funeral. For centuries people thought that the rosemary plant would never grow higher than 6 feet in 33 years so as not to stand taller than Christ. Another story tells that the flowers were originally white, but changed to blue when the Virgin Mary hung her cloak on the bush while fleeing from Herod’s soldiers with the Christ child.

Costmary (Chrysanthemem balsamita) is also known as Bible leaf because in Colonial times a leaf served as a bookmark in Bibles and prayer books. When drowsiness set in, the sleeper treated himself to the minty leaf to stay awake.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Dill (Anethum graveolens) were carried to prayer meetings in Colonial times in small pouches. The seeds were used to curb the appetite. They were called "meeting seeds."

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