image of sweet basil

Sweet Basil

Salivia officinalis, Sage in full flower

Sage in flower

chives in full flower

Flowering Chives

Located adjacent to the Arthur Wall, the herb garden is a semi-formal, partially raised garden constructed of recycled heritage sandstone blocks. Visitors are able to walk along the paths within the garden and have their senses stimulated by the many sights and smells that are found at certain times of the year within this small but popular spot. The collections of herbs are representative of various habitats and locations throughout the world and have diverse historical uses.

The herb garden is located in one of the most historically significant areas of the Gardens next to the Arthur Wall and the very first entrance to the Botanical Gardens which today features a rather unassuming and often ignored wooden door.

The site was also once the location of one of the earliest greenhouses (probably the first), in Australia and housed 200 of Australia’s first pineapples. The Arthur wall is Australia’s first and still only ‘heated wall’ and has complex internal chimneys that took heat and smoke up and through the main wall columns, in theory keeping the wall warm and extending the growing season for plants. After construction it was found that this specialty function was not needed and today the chimney tunnels provide wonderful shelters for birds and possums. It did however provide the back structure for one side of the greenhouse and if you look closely on the wall just behind the herb garden, there is still visual evidence of the greenhouse structure outline and a bricked in entrance.

Later in the history of the site it also housed a structure that became Tasmania’s first Herbarium.

The Herb Garden is best in the spring and summer months between late September and February, although there is always something for someone at other times of the year. It is a very protected spot in the gardens and can be a very nice location even in the winter months on a sunny day.