Medicinal Herb Garden “Appetizer” Design
As a single 50’ Medicinal Herb Garden ring, a rather limited sample garden or “Appetizer” was created, which could inspire the community support and UC appreciation of the necessity of the full 2 acre Community-Centered Peace Medicinal Herb Garden.
Over 250 plants varieties are presented in the design. However, such a limited herbal venue necessitates that any given herb variety be presented only once, even though it may be used by multiple traditions. Further, most traditions draw from a range of ecosystems, thus containing plants not ecologically compatible with one another. Therefore, this garden has been approached ecologically, rather than in accordance with ethnic tradition. (There are nearly a dozen varieties from any given tradition.) Accordingly, half of the area is shaded, verses sunny; and the area is also divided in the opposite direction in accordance with moisture and dryness, resulting in four ecological quadrant zones: shady and moist, shady and dry, sunny and moist, and sunny and dry.
The garden is laid out concentrically for grounding and deepening, aiding in the retaining and affirming of connectedness with our source: Mother Earth, and the respectful responsibility of “return” to completion: it is about recycling and living harmoniously: being content and at peace here and now, energetically present where we are. It has a Sacred Center of plants used in spiritual ceremonies. There are two concentric circular beds of physiological medicinals; and then a ring of culinary herbs to smell, taste and cook in our foods. The garden also has the four cardinal directions. Each direction has an entrance flanked by two species of Mugworts (Artemesia), two mints, and two species of Sage. These Smudging plants guard the space and act in cleansing the energies upon entering. Wine Barrels provide for varieties our UC has asked not to be planted in the earth. For a list of displayed Medicinal Herb plant varieties, see the plant list.