Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fountains Hall Gardens, England

Across from Fountains Hall is a small formal garden recreated to reflect the history of the hall and Fountains Abbey, where the hall is located.

Path to the garden

A simple lawn

Another simple lawn

A more elaborate lawn

The gardeners grow various plants and herbs used by the monks. Angelica Archangelica was part of a cure for pestilence, though it was used in conjunction with fasting and bed rest and fervent prayers, so it's not clear what was the most efficacious part of the cure.

Angela Archangela

Arnica montana was known by the name Leopard's Bane. Goethe used it as a tea for his angina. The plant actually irritates the digestive tract and is used today for external wounds or sprains as "Tincture of Arnica."

Leopard's Bane

Hypericum Perforatum is known as St. John's Wart and was classically boiled in wine. For internal ailments, the wine was drunk. For external ailments, the plant was used as an ointment or in a bath. Nowadays it's used as a herbal remedy for depression. Right next to St. John's Wart is Tropaeolum  Majus or Nasturtium. It was used as a disinfectant and to heal wounds. An infusion from the leaves is supposed to help coughs. Nowadays the peppery seeds and flowers are used in salads.

St. John's Wart and Nasturium

The hedge of the garden is Taxus Baccata or English Yew, a common ingredient in witches' brews. The plant was often planted in graveyards due to its long life, suggesting the eternal life hoped for by the deceased. The wood is also used for bows in archery.

English Yew

The garden does have some more prosaic plants, including fruit bearing trees that go well with the climate.


A bridge at the back of the garden leads further into the estates but is not accessible to visitors.

Bridge over calm waters

A local fowl perched on a fence

L enjoyed hanging out in the area, especially on a bit of the Abbey's ruins.

L perched on rocks

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