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Gardens at the Center

The Center is home to many gardens which follow the design and plantings of the Renaissance period. They include a formal knot garden given by the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and individual donors; the herb garden given by Smith College; the Scholar's Retreat Garden, given by the University's Alumni Association; the Bernard Spivack Shakespeare Garden; and the Walter Chmielewski Performance Garden used for dramatic performances and poetry readings.


The Kitchen Garden Initiative: 2013 - Present

If you have ever wondered what the garden of an English commoner might look like during William Shakespeare's time, the Center can show you. In 2013, a group of students from the University of Massachusetts and Mt.Holyoke College began researching and developing a Kitchen Garden at the Center. This project, co-sponsored by the Center and the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture, asked six undergraduate students to investigate what an English commoner’s garden might look like pre-and post-1492. Once the research was completed, the Center designed and built demonstration gardens on Center grounds. See the link below for additional detail: Garden Project Website


Garden Layout

A layout of the garden with numbers corresponding to plants listed below in the table.


Perennial Plants (26) Annual Plants (22)
1. Angelica archangelica/Angelica (P) 27. Echium vulgare/Bugloss (A)
2. Artemesia Vulgaris/Mugwort (P) 28. Beta vulgaris/Early Blood Turnip (A)
3. Ruta graveolens/Rue (P) 29. Daucus carota/St. Valery Carrot (A)
4. Artemesia absinthium/Wormwood (P) 30. Petroselinum hortensis/Triple Curled Parsley (A)
5. Borago/Borage (P) 31. Cichorium endive/Marachere Tresfine Endive (A)
6. Viola tricolor/Heartsease (P) 32. Coriander sativum/Long Standing Coriander
7. Tanacetum parthenium/Feverfew (P/A) 33. Satureja hortensis/Summer Savory (A)
8. Levisticum officinale/Lovage (P) 34. Brassica oleracea/Winterbor Kale (A)
9. Carthamus tinctora/Safflower (P) 35. Brassica oleracea var.capitata/Bravo Cabbage (A)
10. Hyssopus officinalis/Hyssop (P) 36. Foeniculum vulgare/Bronze Fennel (A)
11. Oenothera biennis/Primrose (P) 37. Allium ampeloprosum/Giant Musselburgh Leek/Scotch Flag(A)
12. Salvia officinalis/Green Sage (P) 38. Anethum graveolens/Dill Bouquet (A)
13. Matricaria recutita/Chamomile (P) 39. Allium cepa/Alissa Craig Onion (A)
14. Achillea millefolium/Yarrow (P) 40. Phaseolus vulgaris/Vermont Dry Cranberry Bean (A)
15. Alcea rosea/Nigra Hollyhock (P) 41. Phaseolus vulgaris/Dry Bush Bean Mix (A)
16. Marrubium vulgare/White Horehound (P) 42. Cicer arientinum/Tan Garbanzo Bean (A)
17. Tanacetum vulgare/Tansy (P)

43. Cichorium endivia/Flat Leaf Endive/Escarole (A)

18. Thymus vulgaris/Thyme (P) 44. Brassica rapa/ Purple Top Turnip (A)
19. Fragaria vesca/Alpine Strawberry (P) 45. Vicia faba/Fava/Bell Bean (A)
20. Mignonette F. vesca/Strawberry (P)

46. Raphanus sativus/Helios Radish (A)

21. Woodland F. vesca/Strawberry (P) 47. Pisum sativum/Champion of England Pea (A)
22. Ruegen F. vesca/Strawberry (P) 48. Ocimum basilicum/Lettuce Leaf Basil (A)
23. Pineapple F. vesca/Strawberry (P)  
24. Moschata F. vesca/Strawberry (P)  
25. Humulus lupulus/Fuggle Hops (P)  
26. Humulus lupulus/ Kent Hops (P)