The gardens at the Weeks Brick House were designed in 1977 by noted garden historian Ann Leighton and Katharine C. Weeks. The garden beds comprise a typical housewife’s garden of the late 17th century, which contained all the herbs and plants essential for a New England household.

These gardens were functional — the concept of a “pretty” garden would have been alien to a woman of the 17th century. Plants were not in neat, even rows. Every inch of available space would be used, not only to yield as many herbs as possible, but also to act as a weed repellent. Sometimes small fruit trees were planted in these gardens. Because there was no order, every garden was different, planted according to the whims of the women of the household.

Every herb and plant fell into one of three categories: medicinal, household, or culinary. Often herbs and plants fell into multiple categories. For a complimentary Weeks Brick House & Gardens information sheet on colonial and modern-day herbs for culinary, medicinal, and household use, click here.