From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

‘Heal Thyself’: A Garden Project Takes Shape

A garden designed for medicinal herbs.

Featured Plants

  • Thyme
  • Anise hyssop
  • Lemon balm
  • Echinacea
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Clary sage
  • Bee balm
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Hyssop
  • Lemon thyme

To grow from seed

  • Elacampagne
  • Comfrey
  • Marsh mallow
  • Ginseng
  • Mullein
  • German chamomile
  • Horseradish
  • Chickweed
  • Licorice

This summer, Joann Osborne, a customer from Jericho, VT, was able to realize a longtime gardening dream: building a medicinal herb garden. Joann, also known as “Herbal Oma,” shared a photo on our Facebook page and followed up with details about the project.

With help from an excavator — and a lot of sweat equity — Joann created a 900-square-foot herb garden. To mark the entrance, she used our Rosedale Arch.
After the excavator cleared out the 30′ x 30′ area, “we brought in 15 cubic yards of soil for the raised beds and shoveled two cubic yards of stone for the walkways, which are lined with landscaping fabric,” Joann writes.

Most of the raised bed sections are decorated with garden art.

“The entrance through the arbor is lined with red slate. I am looking for someone to etch the words Heal Thyself into the slate,” Joann writes.

In the teacup bed, Joann plans to outline the shape of a teapot with discarded saucers. Within the outline, she’ll plant lemon thyme. “The antimicrobial properties of the thymol in lemon thyme will assist healing; the lemon essence will help ‘the medicine go down’ in some of the less flavorful medicinal teas.”

To surround the garden, Joann plans to install a locust-post fence. “Besides giving the garden more definition and providing a place for growing birdhouse gourds (another hobby of mine), it will also, I hope, discourage deer, even though it will probably be only 4′ to 5′ high.”

David Grist, Gardener’s Supply


  1. Anonymous
    April 9, 2013    

    What a wonderful idea! Was there a personal reason for this healing for the creator?

      June 10, 2013    

      I love it! Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. My mom always said, “We are closest to God when we are working the earth.” I use a lot of herbs, lavender and natural poultices . I am a RN who was lucky enough to have a class , non-drug therapeutics , taught by a professor in her 70’s and that was back in 1980. You have inspired me to put more herbs in my garden! Thank you!

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