Kitchen Herb Garden- Situated just outside the Slade Perennial Garden and the kitchen herb garden has a large collection of 23 genera and 34 species of perennial herbs. There are also approximately 700 annual herb plants put in the ground each year. This garden is probably the most popular of the 6 herb gardens at the Arboretum as visitors are always interested in new seasonings for their food. The Minnesota Herb Society works with Arboretum gardeners and contributes time, money and plants to make this garden a real treat.
Knot Garden- Given by the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club and the Knot Garden represents a period of European history when wealthy barons had the time to make their herb plantings intriguing. We would venture to guess that like the royalty they competed for the most interesting, beautiful, unusual! This pattern garden, best viewed from the Kitchen Herb Garden or the Wedding Tower, is comprised of Korean boxwood, Japanese barberry, lavendar cotton and germander.
The Cloistered Gardens, Fragrant Herb Garden, Dyers Garden- This unusual set of three herb gardens spills down over the hillside from the Slade Perennial Garden to the walkway leading to the Ordway Shelter. The garden starts with the Cloister Garden, reminiscent of a medieval monastic garden containing herbs used as medicinal cures and salves. The arbor has American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) and hops (Humulus lupulus) growing over it. There are 59 different genera and 69 species of plants in this garden.
The next garden down the hill, the Fragrant Herb Garden, is filled with fragrant herbs and flowers and it’s a delightful experience to walk slowly through the garden. There are 72 genera and 95 species in this garden ranging from moss roses (Rosa rugosa) to Gold Band Lily (Lilium auratum).
The lowest level of this series of herb gardens, the Dyers Garden, is along the walkway to the Ordway Shelter. It contains shrubs, perennials and annuals representing a small selection of plants used for dyes for clothes, making utensils, and personal adornment items. Plants range from Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) to Yucca (Yucca filimentosa) with 34 species and 30 genera represented in the garden.
The sixth herb garden is in the de Vos Home Demonstration Gardens. Its description is found there.