The GARDEN at OAK VALLEY HERB FARM
The Eastern US Woodland Garden is filled Ginseng, Goldenseal, Wild Yam, Wintergreen, Witch Hazel, and Black Cohosh along with other herbs that hail from the Eastern woodlands.
The Prairie Garden is where a series of tall plants hold each other up as an example of the prairie medicines that once covered middle America and were Native American remedies. Four species of Echinacea are found here, along with another immune balancer, Baptisia. In addition, there is Goldenrod and the infamous Joe Pye Weed.
The Chinese Garden is filled with the most popular Oriental herbs, including Astragalus, Dong Qui, Licorice, and Chinese Mugwort. Flowers of Korean Bellflower and Houtenia are particularly interesting. Many Chinese herbs are well suited for the Sierra since they originated in the mountains. A few Japanese plants lie Perilla and Gobo Burdock are situated on the edge of the Chinese Garden.
A Siberian Section above the Chinese bed contains both true and false Siberian Ginseng, Shizandra Berry and Siberian Motherwort.
The Ayurvedic Garden is the most challenging to grow in the dry climate of the Sierra foothills so it is aided by overhead sprayers trying to mimic warm tropical humidity. This garden contains Ashwaganda, often referred to as “Indian Ginseng,” an Amla fruit tree and true Patchouly, Lemon and Palma Rosa Grasses and, of course, Tulsi Basil.
The English Hedgerow Garden is an example of medicinal plants found tightly growing on the borders of farmlands. Here is towering Marshmallow, Elecampane, Mullein, along with cottage garden favorites like Agrimony, Hollyhock, and Bouncing Bet, also known as Soapwort.
The European Invasive Garden is just beyond the Eastern Woodland bed. This series of beds contain powerful European healers that have become well-established throughout much of the US, such as St. John’s Wort, Feverfew, and Milk Thistle.
The Culinary Garden contains common favorites such as Italian Oregano and Bronze Fennel, but also more unusual are such as Mexican Marigold that tastes like tarragon, Stevia, which is many times sweeter than sugar, and Vietnamese Coriander.
The Berry Patch has strawberries and raspberries, both used for their medicinal fruit and leaves. We also have a blueberry patch below the main garden.
The Historic Flower Garden has an assortment of colorful flowers, making a colorful entrance to the main Medicinal Garden. These flowers were once considered medicinal, although their use in this garden is now mostly as cut flowers. Many favorite old-fashioned flowers are here, such as Asters, Peonys, Snapdragons, Larkspur, and Huechera.
The California Native Garden is situated beside the Main Herb Garden, on the edge of the woods. These medicines are native to Northern California and were all used by the Native Americans. Here you’ll find the ginseng relative, California Spikenard, and Dutchman’s Pipe, sought after by swallowtail butterflies.
The Vegetable Garden is small, but expanding every year. While most vegetable gardeners cultivate around 3-5% herbs, the Green Medicine Garden has mostly herbs with 3% vegetables. It includes 6 different types of Basil.
The Bird, Butterfly and Bee Garden has a selection of herbs, such as Pineapple Sage and Barberry, are both medicinals that attract wildlife.
The Secret Garden is, of course, a surprise! Leading into it is the Roman Chamomile bed, bordered by Sweet Woodruff to make May wine and a Germander groundcover.
The Fragrance Garden features terraces and walkways that wrap around a hill overlooking the pond and lead to a rose covered arch. This garden has 45 scented herbs in aromatherapy. This includes Jasmine, Helicrysum, Vetivert, Patchouli, Spikenard, and 14 types of Lavenders. It is set off to the side of our Green Medicine Herb School outdoor classroom that we use in the summer.
Fragrant Roses are interspersed through one side of the main medicinal garden into the secret garden, with a few varieties also gracing the Fragrance Garden.