Heirloom Gardens

Heirloom gardens add another dimension to your museum experience. Eye-catching blossoms, fragrant herbs, luscious fruits and rows upon rows of colorful vegetables all vie for your attention, but they're also used regularly by village interpreters for preparing meals in the historic kitchens, dyeing fibers, medicinal preparations  as well as decorations and craft projects.

Garden tours with an experienced horticultural interpreter can be arranged throughout the season.
Below are some of our more intriguing gardens.


kunze family garden

The heirloom garden at the Kunze Cabin contains hardy crops commonly grown in the 19th century kitchen garden. These vegetables are grown from seed "bred back" to original types.


Sorenson family garden

Just as they did in the 1800s, some of the gardens—both large and small—serve as decorative, yet complementary, elements to the buildings. The Sorenson garden, for example, is laid out in a classical style compatible with the architecture it surrounds.

Tulips, bearded iris, tree peonies, phlox, roses, columbine and hosta provide a display of color throughout the growing season.


children's garden

The Children's Garden, introduced in 2017, is the most recent addition to the museum's horticultural program. Located in the Pinecrest Discovery Village, the garden features annual, biennial and perennial flowers typically grown in the early 1800s.

It includes interpretation based on 19th century documentation of how such gardens were used to help children understand plants, their names, forms and growth habits.