A Statement of Purpose

Since 2012 I have been responsible for
the garden at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum on Antietam National Battlefield. The Pry House garden began as a 19th century style medicinal and kitchen garden, including medicinal plants, herbs, and vegetables. As close as possible, these plants mirrored those available to the Pry Family in the 1860s, meaning heirloom varieties. Since then, the garden has transformed to focus exclusively on medicinal plants, becoming an exhibit of the flora that was employed by military and civilian caregivers in the Civil War Era.

I am strictly an amateur, with no real experience in growing a garden. The purpose of this blog is to document my experiences as I learn by doing. It is anything but authoritative and I welcome any comments and advice for a greenhorn. Please be kind!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New plants and giveaways

I have been very busy in the garden lately. I have added a number of new plants to the garden, and most things are coming along very nicely. I have also been waging a losing battle with the weeds, digging them out with a full shovel.

One of my new additions is pole beans. I have made another trellis for them out of sticks from the woods. The bluebirds love to perch on it, but I haven't gotten a picture of it yet. The beans are sprouted and looking very healthy. Hopefully I can keep the critters off of them.

notice the bloodmeal sprinkled about to discourage critters

I have sown some new root vegetables too. I am trying two varieties of carrots, both heirlooms, of course, one white and one orange. They have not germinated yet, but I hope they will soon. I planted beets as well, and they are doing very well so far.

I also received some generous gifts for the garden over the weekend. Ike Mumma of the NPS at Antietam National Battlefield brought over an Alaskan cabbage plant. After seeing the garden on a visit to the house, a couple from Hagerstown brought an heirloom yellow tomato plant to add to the garden. Both are now in the garden and doing well so far.

Mr. Mumma's cabbage - flanked by mint springs to deter the critters

The new tomato

Other plants in the garden are doing very well, and already I am harvesting tasty things! My first plantings of red radishes are ready, so I have been pulling those. Some are sweet and others hot. Strawberries are also coming in and they sure are sweet and tasty!

Other plants out here in the garden are doing a little bit too well. I have a number of herbs that are spreading too much and need to be cut back. I hate to just throw them away though, so I am looking for people who are interested in taking some plants for themselves. Here is the list of plants that are available for the taking:

St. John's Wort
Lemon Balm
Lamb's Ear

Let me know if you are interested. I would rather they go to good homes than the compost pile.
mint, St. John's wort, lemon balm