A Medieval Patrician Garden

(Burlington County) teachers Daniel H. Smith, John Heusser, and Robert Waas received a $10,000 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education to carry out their project, A Medieval Patrician Garden.  Eleventh and 12th grade students will design, construct, plant, and care for a Medieval Garden that will become an educational, cultural, and meditative space for students as well as the community. 

Local garden club volunteers will assist in constructing an arbor walkway, supplying dirt, landscaping, and mulching.  A local contractor has volunteered his services in installing the garden’s irrigation system.  Students will research medieval period magic, medicinal, seasoning, culinary, field, and wildflower plants to select plants for each area of the garden.  Research will also be conducted on hardscaping medieval gardens, plants’ uses in medieval households, and pruning and grafting techniques of medieval times.  Students will work in teams to seed, maintain, and harvest the various beds.  Interdisciplinary curriculum and lesson plans will combine horticulture, social studies, and art & photography classes. 

The culminating activity will be a Medieval Fair that is open to the public in which science/horticulture students will showcase the garden. Social studies students will act as historic guides. Art & photography students will display their artistic renderings. Culinary arts students may serve and sell refreshments of the Medieval period as well as design and make clothing for students.  The site will be open for school field trips and adult visits by community members.

For further information, contact :

Daniel H. Smith

(609) 518-9282