Woodman Museum Garden

The Woodman Museum is ready for its Centennial celebration tonight. The tent is in place, the chairs and tables are arranged, the food will be arriving, and this wonderful celebration will be enjoyed by a sell-out crowd.

“This once-in-a-lifetime event, besides being a 100th Anniversary party, is a fundraiser to support our long-range goals to create an accessible Learning Lab where state-of-the-art technology will bring the Wonders of the Woodman Museum to all visitors, including those who may not be able to maneuver to the many upstairs exhibitions in our National Historic Register houses.”

For the Strafford County Master Gardeners, we are also celebrating the part we played in establishing the small garden including native non-invasive plants that were used for medicinal and industrial purposes over the years


The current plant list includes:

  1. Witch Hazel – Hamamelis virginiana – Native Americans used it as astringent to treat skin irritations.
  2. Elderberry – The inner bark was used as a pain-killer, crushed leaves as an insect repellant, and the berries as an astringent, diuretic, laxative and dye. The hollow stems were cleaned and used for flutes or whistles.
  3. Bayberry Myrica pensylvanica  – American colonists boiled the berries to extract the sweet-smelling wax which they could then use to make clean burning candles.
  4. Yarrow Achillea millefolium – It was used by Native Americans to make a tea to alleviate headaches as well as ear and toothaches. In the Civil War, it was used to treat wounds. An extract can also repel mosquitoes.
  5. Lobelia cardinalis – The roots were used as a tea for intestinal ailments and syphilis while teas made with the leaves were used for bronchial issues and colds. The leaves were also smoked or chewed as a tobacco substitute.
  6. Coreopsis tinctoria, Golden Tickseed – It was used for dyes and also for a coffee substitute.
  7. Baptisia australis, Blue Wild Indigo – Common name refers to the use of this plant by early Americans as a substitute for true indigo (genus Indigofera of the West Indies) in making blue dyes.
  8. Cranesbill Geranium maculatum, Spotted Cranesbill –  The plant roots contain Tannin which when used in a tea soothes the digestive tract. Tannin used topically also works as an astringent and can relieve some skin conditions.
  9. Lambs Ear Stachys labiate – Lambs Ear leaves were used as battlefield dressings to not only absorb blood but to help it clot. They were also used in Native American moccasins for softness.

Thanks to each and every Master Gardener who assisted in the planning, design, and planting process. Your contribution to the garden was sincerely appreciated. If you would like to be part of the team to help maintain the garden as we move forward, please let me know.

Submitted by: Beth F., MG since 2003



Strafford County Master Gardeners Association, part of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, is fifty+ gardeners strong, educating through gardening in Strafford County New Hampshire.
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3 Responses to Woodman Museum Garden

  1. wordzfrommeblog says:

    Wonderful information! Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oddment says:

    What a fascinating place! I’m afraid the commute from Indiana is a bit long, but I’ll be there in imagination. Thank you for the most interesting background on the plants. And congratulations to the hard workers — gardeners do seem to be in love with work!

    Liked by 1 person

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