Herb garden (1957)

The Herb garden dating from 1957 was inspired by the monastery garden in the middle ages with its traditional patterns and small beds for garden and medicinal herbs. The classical shapes, using Box, give the garden a green haven.

Design and planting

The Herb garden is a closed in square with an L shaped wall on two sides. The other two sides are formed by a wooden fence separating it from the Old experimental garden and a Larch hedge which separates it from the Water garden. In the ditch along the wooden fence Giant coltsfoot and Ground elder have been planted.  Next to the herb beds and the clipped Box shapes are other classical garden elements belonging to a monastery garden in the middle ages. For example, the turf seat, the well and the witch’s ball in the centre of the clipped Box hedges which was meant to frighten birds of prey away from the garden. The paving is made of brick and shells; materials which also fit into this traditional garden. The herb beds are small because quite often only a small amount was needed. These and the Box hedges give structure to the garden. The planting consists mainly of herbal plants with a functional character: edible, medicinal or those used to make paint.


After developing the Water garden, a closed in area remained with the rush mats on the side of the nursery and the wooden fence on the side of the Old experimental garden.  This made Mien Ruys think of an old monastery garden, which inspired her to make the Herb garden.  Apart from the necessary renovation in 1996 and 2012 nothing much has changed over the years. In 1983 the rush mats were replaced by a wall. This made it possible to plant a fig tree against the warm south wall and also to plant a Mulberry tree.