Amersham Museum -

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49 High Street Old Amersham HP7 0DP

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Object of the Month - August 2014

Elecampanre & Marshmallow

August’s object of the month isn’t really an object! It is the stunning herb garden set to the rear of the building. The herb garden is filled with plants that have either medicinal or culinary properties. Although not original to the house that forms the museum, herb gardens were quite typical of the Tudor era when the museum building was used as maltster’s house beside the river Misbourne.

Now in flower in the herb garden are Goats Rue, Elecampane and Tansy which all had medicinal qualities together with fennel, chicory and marshmallow which were more prized by cooks in the kitchen. However, many herbs had two or more uses – the tansy leaves, flowers and stalks were often scattered on the earth floors of medieval houses to provide a more comfortable surface than the bare earth.

The herb garden displays different herbs throughout the summer growing season and is the ideal place to escape from the bustle of the High Street in an environment rich with their aromas. The garden is accessed through the museum and is open to the public during normal admission hours.

Images show Elecampane (left) and marshmallow (right).