As you explore the gardens in the Village, you’ll quickly discover just how delightful these purely practical heritage gardens can be.
KEY: (P) perennial; (A) annual; (B) biannual
The Herb Garden
Location: Between the Laskay Emporium and the Harness Shop
This garden contains over 40 different varieties of herbs. Here are examples of what you may find in the Herb Garden, and how each plant was used by settlers:
- HYSSOP (P); flavouring for liquor and honey; oil used in perfume.
- CATNIP (P); excellent tea for a cure for upset stomach and as a "night cap".
- SWEET BASIL (A); applied when stung by wasp.
- LAVENDER (P); cured convulsions, dropsy, fainting.
- RUE (P); improved sight, sharpened wit, cured madness and drove out devils.
- LEMON BALM (P); tea for headaches, fevers; stewing herb.
- HORSERADISH (P); leaves placed in soles of shoes to relieve tired feet.
- HOREHOUND (P); used in candy and syrup for coughs, colds, and other lung complaints.
- COMFREY (P); used for ruptures, broken bones and to heal wounds.
- FEVERFEW (P); for headaches, neuralgia, and insect bites.
- WILD MARJORAM (P); strengthened stomach; antidote for poisons.
- TANSY (P); soaked in buttermilk, then used to wash face; made maids look very fair.
An herb that grows in various spots in the garden:
MULLEIN (B); good remedy for coughs, hoarseness and bronchitis; all parts can be used to produce yellow, bronze and grey dyes.
The Weaver's Shop Dye Garden
Location: Behind the Weaver's Shop, Back end of the Print Shop
Dyes derived from plants such as those growing in the Weavers Shop Dye Garden were used to create the warm and bright colours in woolen materials. Here are some examples of plants and the colours they yielded:
NAME; DYE COLOUR
- Solomon's Seal(p); Green
- Artimesia (p) ; Yellow, Green
- Peony(p); Brown Copper
- Calendula(a); Orange, Grey
- Weld(a); Yellow, Tan
- Gypsy Wort(p); Black
- Blue Iris(p); Beige, Green
- Indigo(a); Blue
- Golden Marguerite(p); Gold, Brown
- Tansy(p); Green-grey
- Madder Root(p); Coral, Mauve
- St.John's Wort(p); Yellow, Bronze
- Bed Straw(p); Yellow, Red, Orange, Tan
- Blood Root(p); Red, Orange, Tan
- Fever Few(p); Yellow, Beige, Grey
- Cosmos(a); Yellow, Brown
- Black-eyed Susan(p); Green, Brown
- Geranium(a); Tan, Brown
- Coreopsis(a); Orange, Red
- Privet(p); Yellow, Brown
- Woad(p); Blue
The Doctor's Medicinal Garden
Location: Around the restored "Doctor's Home"
Many of the trees and plants in the garden serve
as a "natural pharmacy", from which the 19th-century country doctor could prepare remedies and cures for the villages.
Black Creek is indebted to the Southern Ontario Unit of The Herb Society of America for its generosity in the development and maintenance of this garden of medicinal plants, located around the restored "Doctor's Home".
Pennsylvania German Square Garden
Location behind Daniel Stong's Second House - Under Restoration
Burwick House Garden
Location: Around the restored "Burwick House"
An 1860s mid-Victorian garden with lawn and flowering shrubs featuring geometric, shaped "island beds" filled with colorful and fragrant, long-blooming annuals. Included also, is a kitchen garden typical of the period displaying heritage varieties of fruit, herb and vegetables.
The Apple Orchard
Location: North of the Grain Barn
Apples were the most important harvest fruit of the pioneer. Next to the Grain Barn is an apple orchard containing varieties of trees that Daniel Stong grew in his original orchard. These varieties of apple trees are rarely found today.
Rhode Island Greening - One of the oldest historic apple varieties originating in North America about 1650. One of the most important commercial varieties in the northeast during the 1800?s, second only to the Baldwin variety. The fruit is lighter green when fully ripe, with a tart flavour making it a prized pie apple. A productive variety of apples; once know to yield 20 barrels from one tree in a season, the harvest is late October.
Wolf River - A large to enormous apple ripening in September, great for cooking, applesauce and apple butter. The story as we know it tells of William Springer as he left his homestead in Wisconsin in 1856, acquired some apple seeds known as Alexander along his journey to his new home in Quebec. Upon arriving at his new home he planted the seeds along the banks of the Wolf River near Freemont. The greenish yellow fruit with red striping would come to be known as the Wolf River variety.
St. Lawrence - Harvested in early September, this variety is difficult to store because it?s breaks down quickly after harvest. The St. Lawrence originated in the Montreal area pre 1835. The variety was very popular in the 1800?s. Renowned in it?s time for pies, preserves, and tarts, it is an apple rarely found today.
Snow - Named for its snow white flesh, this heritage variety first grew in southern Quebec along the St. Lawrence River, from seeds brought from France in the early 1700?s or earlier. Most likely one of the parents of the McIntosh variety. The Snow ripens in early October and has a distinctive taste and texture.
Tolman Sweet - The origins of this apple are unknown, although some believe its parents are the Sweet Greening and Old Russet varieties known in 1822. Harvested in early October the Tolman Sweet is greenish yellow apple with a unique texture and flavour that stores for a few months. It is a good baking apple; that also makes excellent hard cider.