Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rackliffe House is closed and all events have been cancelled for the 2020 season.

Rackliffe House

Colonial gardens consisted of vegetables, herbs (both culinary and medicinal), and fruit, all together. A typical garden was 4 square or rectangular beds, bisected by walkways of crushed seashells. They were often enclosed by a fence.

Vegetables in the garden would have included artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, green peas, lettuce, lima beans, parsnips, potatoes (including sweet potatoes), pumpkins, radishes, spinach, yellow crook-necked squash (not acorn squash), and turnips.  The herb garden might have been planted with basil, dill, garlic, onions, horseradish, mustard, parsley, rosemary, peppermint, sage, spearmint, thyme, horehound, winter savory, oregano, angelica, nasturtium, calendula, hyssop, and lady’s mantle.   Fruit might include raspberries, melons, and espaliered fruit trees.

The garden would also include heirloom plants like hollyhocks, foxglove, daylilies, irises, and peonies.

This was the original farm to table movement. Nearly everything was home grown—beverages and spices would have come from outside the colonies.