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Beautiful & Functional

The Herb Garden was designed by noted herb expert Susan Anthony as an 18th Century herb garden, common to a house of this period. The garden features plants that have medicinal, culinary, and household uses. This theme continues throughout the gardens adjacent to the herb garden, including the Vegetable Garden and the Cottage Garden at the front of the Wing House.

The centerpiece of the garden is a millstone water feature. The fountain is surrounded by fragrant Rosa gallica, breathtaking in late June, and a collection of perennial and annual herbs. The large Elderberry against the house features huge platter-sized lacy cream-colored flowers that turn into dark blueberries. A lovely rose and honeysuckle arbor provides a place to reflect on the garden and for memorable photos. In addition, there is so much to discover in this sanctuary, healing to body and soul.

The garden was renovated and enlarged in 2010 with the generous support of Linda Calmes Jones and Don McInnes.

Herb Garden Plants

If you are curious to learn more about the plants in this garden, we’ve created a plant list and a list of medicinal and household uses of the plants. Using plants is a careful science. Please don’t try any of these without consulting a physician. Almost every plant has multiple uses. May this garden inspire you to learn more about their truly amazing properties, qualities, and histories.

The American Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis, the American black elderberry, Canada elderberry, or common elderberry, is a species of elderberry native to a large area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, south to Bolivia. It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry soils, primarily in sunny locations.

The fruit (known as an elderberry) is a dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in the fall.


Recent Garden News & Blogs

  • White Rhododendron

Hybridizing Rhododendrons

May 22nd, 2021|

100 Years of Rhododendrons After Dexter died in 1943, many of his hybrid rhododendrons were scattered away from Sandwich to different places. While Dexter himself had given away thousands of seedlings during [...]

  • Rhododendron

Dexter Centennial

May 16th, 2021|

100 Years of Rhododendrons This year, 2021, marks the centennial of the year that Charles Owen Dexter acquired Shawme Farm. It is because Dexter bought himself a country retreat a hundred years [...]

  • News & Blog - witch-hazel

Witch Hazel For The Winter Garden

March 10th, 2021|

Down To Earth by Les Lutz The days are getting longer and there are already signs of life in the garden. One bright spot in the garden here at Heritage Museums & Gardens [...]

  • American Elderberry

American Elderberry

February 4th, 2021|

Our beautiful elderberry in the herb garden. Sambucus canadensis or American Elderberry is a shrub that can grow to 12 feet, flowering in the summer and producing an abundance of fruits in early fall. [...]