Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Gardens at Bethabara Park

Hello Friends!  Today I'm sharing with you this interesting garden that hubby and I visited last weekend.  This is proof that you don't have to travel far from home at all to find new and fascinating things.

These gardens are representative of early American Colonial gardens.  Historic Bethabara Park is the 1753 site of the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina.  The Moravians were exiled Protestants from what is now the Czech Republic.  The community of Bethabara was the beginning of what later became the thriving community of Salem.  Bethabara - meaning "house of passage" -  was to be a temporary settlement until the town of Salem was established.  The area formerly known as Bethabara is now inside the city limits of Winston-Salem, which is the county seat for Forsyth County.

The community of Salem is now known as Old Salem, and I've done several posts on this restored, living historic museum/community.

I grew up in Winston-Salem, and the park was here at that time.  However, there were no pretty gardens planted then, it basically looked like the pictures above and below.  Above, the vertical fence in the background with the pointy wooden poles represents where the original fort would have been in 1753.  The stones below are the foundations of the original buildings in the community.

We drove past this park often on our way to places around town when I was growing up.  I was curious about it, but it certainly wasn't nearly as attractive as it is now.

Looking at the park from across the road, these are apple trees, and they were loaded with healthy-looking green apples.

To my delight, we discovered that these gardens nearest the road are medicinal gardens, filled with all manner of herbs. 

Reading from the brochure we picked up in the garden, "The medical garden at Historic Bethabara Park is the oldest well-documented medical herb garden in the United States.  This recreation is based on a map of the Hortus Medicus drawn by Brother Christian Gottlieb Reuter in June 1761.  A modern interpretation of his original map is inside this brochure."

Unfortunately, the map is probably impossible for you to read; I wish I could have enlarged it some.  Anyway, there are wonderful old-fashioned herbs growing here, such as tansy, comfrey, betony, chamomile, angelica, lovage, Oriental poppies, hyssop, and of course --

lavender.  These were such beautiful lavender beds.  Try as I might, I've never had any luck growing it; seeing these plants makes me want to try again.  :)

The lavender was full of bees and butterflies when we were there.


Hidden amongst the lavender was this bird's nest and these pretty speckled eggs.  I never saw the mother bird, though I'm sure she must have been nearby.  Does anyone know what kind of bird eggs these are?

I noticed this bird keeping watch from atop the gazebo while we were taking pictures.

According to the map, there are also the familiar herbs that I think are more commonly grown in our herb gardens today -- basil, dill, marjoram, mint, parsley, sage, rosemary, (and probably thyme, too).

Pretty nasturtiums...

On this day, there was just one, lone red poppy left.  There was a nice bunch of them blooming around Memorial Day, which I thought was very appropriate.  I almost forgot to mention that I get to glimpse these gardens in most seasons of the year because Duncan's groomer has her shop right around the corner from the park.

You may be able to read this brochure for more information about the medicinal garden; it contains some interesting facts.  Sorry the print is so small.  Do you have an herb garden or have you ever had one?  I had one at our home in Greensboro, and I still miss it to this day.  I hope to plant another one sometime.

Are you having a good summer?  I hope so!  I thank you for your visits -- they truly make my day.  I feel like I've been terrible at keeping up my blog lately; we've had so many family things to take care of.  I'll be catching up on my visits to all of you during the coming week.  Please stop back by for the conclusion of our visit to Bethabara Gardens later this week!

I'm joining the "Gardens Galore" link party, hosted by Pam at Everyday LivingHope to see you there!

XX Denise


  1. What a fabulous garden, which reminds me that I must visit my favorite garden one day soon! I'd be in heaven if I could grow lavender like that!

    Summer? Not really into the swing of it yet, but I trust that I will have a good summer. Thanks for asking.

    You keep having fun, too.

  2. I must visit there sometime. Beautiful garden. I wonder if it's a doves nest nestled in the lavender?
    Pretty nasturtiums, I love the leaves and the flowers in my salad.
    Happy week ahead

  3. How very lovely . . . this is my kind of garden :) I love everything about it. I live in a desert area and if it were not for irrigation I wouldn't have a garden at all. We bought our little fixer upper home on an area of land three years ago . . . and I'm planting and irrigating and doing my best to create a cottage garden. It does take time, but I'm getting there, LOL. I am your newest follwer and so happy to have found your lovely blog. I do hope you will visit and maybe even follow me back.
    Have a lovely day and happy gardening!
    Connie :)

  4. Oh how I enjoyed this Denise...they are magnificent the lavender. How amazing that you spotted that sweet bird nest. Can you believe July is almost here...HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

  5. Such a lovely garden, Denise. How exciting to find the bird's nest nestled in the lavender. I didn't know birds would risk building a nest on the ground.
    I discovered lavender does not like wet feet thus irrigation watering is not good for lavender. It likes full sun so I am completely out and I love how pretty it is and the great scent.
    Glad to see you at Gardens Galore. I love Pam's blog and she is a fellow Alabamian.
    The herbs were fantastic at Bethabara Park. I look forward to the next follow up post.
    I know just what you mean about keeping up with blogging friends. I am so far behind.

  6. Denise, what a beautiful garden...the split rail fence caught my attention immediately. The medicinal garden is so interesting. I visited Old Salem many years ago on just a day trip, I learned more about the Moravian settlement. We also enjoyed some Moravian cookies, don't remember what they were called, but they were delicious! I loved your tour and thanks for sharing at Gardens Galore!

  7. Great pictures and so close to home. There is so much history in the Moravian archives. Moravians were known for their meticulous record keeping. Love your posts, Mom



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Blog Designer