Since it opened in June 1992, the Geffrye’s walled herb garden has matured into an oasis of beauty and botanical interest in the East End, an area with a long tradition of gardening and once noted for its horticultural significance. Hoxton, just across Kingsland Road in the parish of Shoreditch, was home to a group of extremely influential nurseries in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The garden, which was made from a derelict site adjacent to the museum, contains over 170 different herbs, and also includes a variety of plants traditionally associated with herb gardens such as roses, honeysuckles and lilies. The herb garden’s 12 beds each contain an informal grouping of herbs which share a common use. There are beds for cosmetic, medicinal, culinary, household, aromatic and dye plants. The design is based on a traditional plan of beds intersected by geometric paths, with a fountain in the centre. Three arbours provide secluded seating beneath climbing plants and roses.