Turf Benches

Turf Benches

This German woodcut depicts a domestic servant building a common feature of medieval pleasure gardens – the turf bench.  These benches varied in size and shape. Some were simple rectangular designs, like this one here. Others were U-shaped, L-Shaped, or  multilevel, while some ran the perimeter of the entire garden. The frames were usually constructed … Continue reading

What are we growing?

What are we growing?

I have really been enjoying the books I’ve been reading as well as everyone’s posts. I’m learning a great deal about the lives of the various classes and their diets. What I keep coming across, and find very fascinating, is that for the most part, garden produce was considered the food of the lower class. … Continue reading

Nitre: For the Garden and the Queen’s Army

Nitre, potassium nitrate, was an exceptionally important product to the renaissance gardener. It was produced mostly by horses and cattle, and could be found in their stables. The nitrogenous organic  compounds present, proteins and urea, were fed upon by bacteria in the soil. This combined with the potassium present, derived from wood ash, resulted in … Continue reading