Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder - Pioneer Theme Gardens

My mother in law lives in a town called Durand, Wisconsin, which is located in Pepin County.  To get to this out of the way town you have to pass through the county seat, also named Peppin.  Peppin, Wisconsin is the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  (They have a plaque and a historical museum there if you ever happen through town on Highway 35.)

One of the things Laura spoke about in her Little House Books was the carrying of herb seeds and cuttings to start a new garden, something she called a “Garden of Used-to-Be.”

Since her birthday is in February (back on Feb. 7) I thought now was the perfect time to share some of the herbs you could include in your own Pioneer Theme garden

A pioneer garden was heavy on the housekeeping and medicinal herbs with a few culinary and tea herbs thrown in, especially dill.  In those days dining with herbs was not nearly as important as having an herbal medicine cabinet and items to help keep the home clean and sanitized.

Here is a plant list for creating a Pioneer garden

Medicinal Herbs – thyme, lavender, yarrow (known then as woundwort), horehound, feverfew, echinacea

Tea Herbs – mint, bee balm, lemon balm, catnip

Culinary herbs – sage, thyme, dill, horseradish, mustard, rosemary

Housekeeping herbs – southernwood, santolina, lavender (repel moths), tansy and penny royal (repel fleas), mint (repel mice), bay (keep weevils out of flours and grains), soapwort (wash fabic), lemon balm (polish furniture), sorrel (polish copper)

Insect repelling herbs - catnip, penny royal, basil

Enjoy herbs in 2011!


  1. the garden of used to be. love that. I'd like to set up a pioneer garden. I do have some lavender, and mint (mojito), maybe some rosemary this year.

    1. Grow your rosemary in a pot so you can bring it inside for winter, just make sure it is in a damp area. Mojito Mint is not very historic, but it makes a great cocktail!

  2. Too many years volunteering and living at a living history farm to not notice the history of plant uses and how they have changed!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...