Monday, May 23, 2011

German Four Square Gardens.

The Frankeberger Tavern,the oldest building in our little town, is owned and maintained by the Mechanicsburg Musuem Association . This tavern was in use during 1801-1810, a time when there was a dependency on herbs, greatly used for seasonings, preservatives, medicinals, for dyeing fabrics, as insecticides, teas and other beverages, as well as many other household tasks.
The little garden on the East side of the Frankeberger Tavern is intended to represent a typical Pennsylvania German Four Square Garden of the period. Dating back to Medieval monasteries, such gardens (typically much larger) were a way of life for everyone, especially the innkeeper and traveler.
This Pennsylvania Redware plate shows the layout of a typical foursquare garden. Brought to this area by the Pennsylvania Germans, the gardens were traditionally four squares within a larger square, divided by two paths for easy access, well tended and planted for high yield. They were often planted in raised beds for better drainage and of course planted in full sun.
Another example of a raised garden bed, this bed of early spring greens can be found at the Tavern at the Landis Valley Museum.

2 comments:

GardenofDaisies said...

I had no idea that thy were using raised beds way back then. It would be fascinating to me to learn more about the healing properties of plants. Golly, saying something like that 200 years ago might have gotten me burned at the stake!

Angela McRae said...

I love learning about garden history, and sounds like you have an abundance of it! I adore the look of those four square gardens -- just lovely!

And speaking of lovely, I received my wonderful cookbook and catalog this weekend and am so impressed! How DO you ladies manage to do all that you do? I trust your customers realize how very fortunate they are!!!