Buckingham-Hall House Gardens

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Nasturtiums bloom in the Buckingham Hall House parlor gardenThe gardens at the Buckingham-Hall House are a representation of the Hall family’s coastal homestead in the mid-1830s. This pre-industrial family subsisted on large gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. The family would use their produce in making food, dying textiles, and creating remedies throughout the year.

With practicality in mind, the Hall family had a site-specific layout of the gardens, meeting the needs of the plants and the family. Each garden is placed according to sun exposure, soil conditions, proximity to kitchen, and water supplies.

New England in the 1830s was a self-sufficient time. The Halls relied heavily on the collection of seeds to plant for the next season. Using the seeds from plants that performed well, the garden had a greater resistance to pests, climatic extremes, and disease. This is much of what we strive for today: high yielding crops and a less expensive production.

The Kitchen Garden

The Buckingham-Hall House vegetable gardenThe Buckingham-Hall House kitchen garden is filled with vegetables and herbs. We practice horticultural methods with crop rotation and use horse manure, and also mulch with salt marsh hay and when available, seaweed. The produce grown in this garden is used in the Buckingham-Hall House cooking demonstrations and in the Children’s Museum’s programs.

Parlor Garden

The parlor garden welcomes visitors with bright heirloom annuals and perennials. This is the garden commonly seen from the parlor room and the area is designed for pleasure and utility. The parlor garden contains a number of show-stopping flowers and herbs, including:

Balsam, Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens balsamina)
This annual has pink rose-like flowers that bloom from early summer to fall. The name Touch-Me-Not was given due to the nature of the seed pods. When touched, balsam’s ripe seed pods burst, flinging the seed away from the plant.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Nasturtium is a true beauty in the garden. This climber has beautiful blooms from summer to frost. Along with attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, this plant is edible. The leaves can be used as greens for salad.

The Fruit Yard

The fruit yard was a vital garden for the Halls; much of the produce grown here was consumed or made into jellies, jams, pies, or cider.