1. Fencing and Walls

It was common for medieval gardens to be enclosed. The enclosure could range from anything such as a dirt mound, fencing, a wall built of brick or stone or any type of structure that would be at least two and a half feet tall. The taller the better.

2. Trellises

A trellis can be made out of anything. A simple one can be made by making a tall frame out of boards (a rectangle) and then nailing chicken wire to it or you could use lattice to make it look prettier. Leave at least two feet at the bottom without any trellis so you can stick it in the ground or nail it to something for support. The size is up to you. Medieval gardens loved vines that had pretty blooms or a fragrant scent. You can place the trellis along your enclosure, near entry ways or gates, in your garden bed or in a corner.

3. The Garden Bed

Raised beds were used because they provided the best irrigation and also for appearance. An easy way to make a raised garden bed is to buy 3 – 10 by 2 by 8 foot boards and cut one in half. Again the size depends on you. Keep in mind that you don’t want to make your garden more than four feet wide because it might be difficult to weed or get to your plants. Once you have your boards pre-drill three holes at each end where the screws will connect to another board. Use decking screws and not nails for this. You’re basically putting together a frame and it requires little skill (but you’ll be so happy when you see what you’ve built). Once you have your raised garden bed positioned where you want it, lay down a few layers of newspaper to keep weeds from growing. Fill it in with dirt and then add your plants. If you want more than one raised garden then position them in a design or pattern.

4. Walk Ways and Water Features

Walk ways can be made out of concrete, gravel or stones. You can purchase individual types of walkway steps at stores like home depot. The patterns can range from brick to stone and might be cheaper than making an concrete walkway. Its up to you though. Place the walkway around your gardens, seats or fountains. Be creative with it. A water feature can be placed anywhere but a perfect place would be to put it in the exact center of your garden if its not too large or by a seating area. You can use a fountain, a small pond or a water garden as your water feature.

5. Trees

If you have room then consider planting a fruit tree as these were common in higher and lower class medieval gardens.

6. What to plant in your Garden

Medieval gardens did not labels plants as herbs or vegetables. They were labeled according to their uses such as food, dyes, medicinal, religious, pleasure, etc. When planted in the garden they were also grouped together according to their purpose.

A Food garden would include plants such as cucumber, carrots, leeks, lettuce, marshmallow root, nettle, onion, radish, sorrel and lovage.

Here is a short list of other trees, plants and herbs to include in your medieval garden:

  • Sage
  • Vervain
  • Rose
  • Violets
  • Marigold
  • Iris
  • Primrose
  • Apple
  • Grape
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Pomegranate
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Tansy
  • Feverfew
  • Agrimony
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