The Green Farmacy Garden

comments (13) August 28th, 2016

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Entrance to The Green Farmacy Garden, home of ethnobotanist, Dr. Jim Duke, located in Fulton, Maryland. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
Ethnobotanist, herbalist, author, and mentor to many, Dr. Jim Duke, recently entertained the International Herb Association with plant stories and music.
Peyote plant in bloom.
Watering cans at the Green Farmacy Garden.
Garden director, Helen Lowe Metzman, standing in the Aphrodisia garden bed. Some plants that she discussed were ginseng, garlic and jiao gu lan.
Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) loaded with red berries.
Shade cover for Hoja santa.
Hops (Humulus lupulus) will be Herb of the Year for 2017.
Passiflora incarnata bloom, the passion flower is sometimes called Maypop.
View of the garden terrace below. And yes, that is kudzu in the garden--on purpose!
Datura unfurling.
Anise hyssop is located in the medicine wheel garden--it attracts many pollinators. Agastache spp. will be celebrated as Herb of the Year for 2018.
Entrance to The Green Farmacy Garden, home of ethnobotanist, Dr. Jim Duke, located in Fulton, Maryland. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Entrance to The Green Farmacy Garden, home of ethnobotanist, Dr. Jim Duke, located in Fulton, Maryland. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

The Green Farmacy Garden is Dr. Jim Duke's medicinal herb teaching garden (his book The Green Pharmacy published by Rodale in 1997 has sold over a million copies) used by the Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly know as Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts), located in Fulton, Maryland. Recently, the International Herb Association went on a field trip there. Jim lives at The Green Famacy Garden with his wife Peggy, who is a botanical illustrator. She has illustrated Jim's books and she also does hand-colored prints of botanical specimens as well as original Asian-style watercolors.

We were happy to be received by Dr. Duke and his staff of gardeners. Helen Lowe Metzman, Garden Director, and her daughter Alana and gardener Jared, led us on a two hour tour around the garden, which contains over 80 plots "representing most of major the ailments of man and womankind". Each plot has a rock as the centerpoint, etched with the name of a disease or malady, and it is surrounded by plants that help to cure or alleviate that particular ailment. The plants are collected from around the globe and range from annuals, biennials and perennials, shrubs, trees, roots and rhizomes, to tender tropicals, which have to be brought into a greenhouse in cold weather.

The garden is built upon four terraces, it has a pond, a valley of plants and an outdoor teaching pavilion. Many of the tender, tropical and shade-loving plants have little edifices constructed over them made from bamboo and burlap, which I find aesthetcially pleasing. There is also some netting around certain plants that attract deer and other four-legged creatures.

Helen refers to the garden as a "Noah's Ark of medicinal herbs" and says that "students get to interact with species gathered from around the world". If you get the chance, call and arrange a visit for you or a group of up to 25--you cannot just drop by--call for a reserved date. For more info go to

We were certainly lucky to have a sunny day for our field trip and Jim on bass fiddle, his son John on guitar and Jared on mandolin performed some of Jim's botanical songs to our delight. I'll leave you with a good thought from Dr. Duke, "Gardening is one way to accomplish five things useful at slowing the ravages of old age: 1. exercise, 2. fresh air, 3. relaxation, 4. sunshine (not too much now) and 5. communion with Nature and Nature's Herbs."



After you try it, show it off to other members in the
gardener's gallery.
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posted in: Medicinal Herbs, green farmacy garden, Dr. James Duke

Comments (13)

EllisSonja writes: I like it
Posted: 4:08 am on October 29th
BakerRen writes: Amazing
Posted: 6:19 am on October 14th
Zacionafalidaa writes: Love the storytelling of your work

Posted: 1:41 am on October 13th
PaulaTucker2 writes: Nice one
Posted: 3:40 am on October 12th
robicook writes: Amazing Dude
Posted: 11:46 pm on October 9th
SharonOrenstein writes: wow… its awesome
Posted: 4:07 am on October 3rd
Psychologue writes: Really nice yes ! Healthy is very important for us !
Posted: 8:46 am on October 1st
Robmethon writes: Magnificent
Posted: 12:41 am on September 27th
BruceWilliam writes: Awesome!
Posted: 4:18 pm on September 5th
ggghome writes: Really nice!
Posted: 12:25 pm on September 2nd
cookinwithherbs writes: so glad you got to go see the green farmacy too gert. the collection of homemade shade covers in the gardens add visual interest and are sort of whimsically eccentric.
Posted: 8:20 pm on August 31st
Eorgeurton writes: I have my own backyard garden
Posted: 2:05 am on August 30th
gertcoleman writes: Love the datura unfurling!

Really glad I got to see Dr. Duke and his wonderful gardens, hear the music, and commune with Nature and other nature-lovers.

I am inspired to create some shade covers after being there.
Posted: 4:56 pm on August 29th
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