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.
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 are information sheets about the garden available for visitors to view and purchase. There are several reference books that visitors are able to consult for further information about plants in the garden and the history of herbs and their uses. A selection of plants are also available for visitors to buy.
For our younger visitors there is the ‘Herb Garden Explorer Trail’, which is available from reception ( there is a small charge, with a badge upon completion).
An ‘A’ board on the path through the garden gives you interesting facts of our Plant of the Month.
The garden is managed by volunteers, who undertake all the work including planting, maintenance and the development of future plans. The volunteers also promote the garden through tours and a children’s trail, with bespoke events during the year to coincide with Lichfield City’s programme of heritage and community events. The volunteer gardeners can usually be found in the garden on Thursday afternoons (weather permitting) and are always happy to chat to visitors about the garden
Tours of our Garden
Group tours of the garden can be arranged by contacting the office at Erasmus Darwin House on 01543 306260.
One section of the garden ( Dr Darwin’s Medicine Chest) has recently been awarded National Plant Collection status in the historic category by Plant Heritage ( www.plantheritage.org.uk). This award will be highlighted in our garden tours during 2020 and the dates will be published shortly.
Our Garden Festival 2020 will run from 10 -17 July, with events, talks and garden tours. Please refer to our events page for more information nearer the time.