The garden at Erasmus Darwin House is enhanced by the historic buildings that surround it and we welcome visitors, in Dr Darwin’s words, to “view the wonders of my inchanted garden”.
The garden is composed of a number of linked but distinct areas.
There is a culinary garden (known as Mrs Darwin’s Culinary Garden) which reflects the extensive use of herbs and spices in Georgian cooking along with other domestic uses including cleaning, scenting and disinfecting.
The garden has then been further divided into 4 beds:
Dr Darwin’s Medicine Chest garden which includes plants directly referenced to the writings of Dr Darwin and reflecting the variety of plants which were in use at this time by a professional physician.
This section of the garden has recently been awarded National Plant Collection status in the historic category by Plant Heritage ( www.plantheritage.org.uk).
The Apothecary’s Garden which includes traditional herbs that would have been supplied by 18th century “high street” apothecaries.
The Dyers Garden which includes examples of plants which could have been used by professional dyers in the city to produce the natural colours needed for fabrics.
The Scented Garden which has been developed to bring fragrance and colour to the historic house and garden.
All plants are labelled and there is a leaflet about the garden available for visitors. Each bed also has a plant list and further historical information.
A selection of plants are sometimes available for visitors to buy.
For our younger visitors there is the free Herb Garden Explorer Trail – all about insects.
Download a copy of our herb garden leaflet here – Herb Garden Leaflet
The garden is managed by volunteers, who undertake all the work including planting, maintenance and the development of future plans. They can usually be found in the garden on Thursday afternoons (weather permitting) and are always happy to chat to visitors about the garden.