Station: [18] Scent Garden

F 2: What would a monastery be without a monastic garden! Our tour of Jerichow’s monastic garden past and present begins here, in a section we’ve called the scent garden, close to the walls of the collegiate foundation.

M 1: Whether lavender or lilac, thyme or winter savoury – even the slightest breeze is pleasantly perfumed. The thing to do in a scent garden is to close your eyes and listen. And take in the fragrances of the many plants tucked away in its beds.

As you wander around the scent garden, you’ll discover all kinds of little creative openings. Running through the middle of the garden, past what’s called the "Tree of New Beginnings", there’s a hidden path that ends in front of a large door. Two windows made of willow evoke a vague sense of looking back to a remote era of which we have virtually no written historical record: the period of Jerichow’s medieval monastic garden.

F 2: This first part of the garden, which has been completely redesigned in recent years, bridges the gap between the present and the medieval past. That’s because purely decorative gardens that appeal to the senses, like this one, didn’t exist in the Middle Ages. In those days, people didn’t take up gardening to create something beautiful. Monasteries were self-sufficient and had to produce all the necessities of life. There were no doubt different garden areas even then. They were separated by simple willow fences and included a medicinal herb garden, a vegetable and kitchen herb garden, and an orchard. Cereals were grown in large fields outside the monastery walls.

Foto: © Stiftung Kloster Jerichow