The Ella Ruth Herb Garden was established in 2010 on the grounds of the historic Wynne Home Arts Center in Huntsville, TX. The garden is named after the two young girls who grew up in the Wynne Home in the early 1900’s, Samuella and Ruth Wynne. The garden was designed by Unit members and is maintained by the group. The garden is open to the public year round. It is in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8b.
The garden is divided into sections: culinary, medicinal, and fragrant herbs. The focal point of the garden is a statue of a young girl, serenely looking over the garden. We call her Ella Ruth. Ella Ruth is surrounded by a ring of fragrant lavender. The garden is shaded by a stately, old, pecan tree. Concrete table & benches surround the garden and invite visitors to sit and enjoy the views of the beautiful and peaceful garden.
The garden was built with the help of the Huntsville Parks Department. Rich, mushroom composted soil was brought in to build the bed and a drip irrigation system on a timer was installed. After diligent research, appropriate plants were chosen for each section of the garden. Plants are labeled with both their botanical and common name.
Members of the Unit maintain the garden each week. A general clean-up is held in the spring and fall and before major events. Seasonal color plants and herbs are added periodically throughout the year.
The Unit has an Herb Festival in the Spring of each year with vendors, musicians and artists and, of course, herb plants grown by members. The annual Herb Day Festival is held around the Ella Ruth Herb Garden. Proceeds from the Festival go toward maintenance and expansion of the garden. Unit events have included tours of the garden.
In 2014, an Herb Cottage was added to the Garden and landscaping around the cottage was installed. A rain barrel and compost bin were also installed as an example of conservation methods that can be easily incorporated into the home garden.
The Unit is now installing a Children’s Sensory Garden. The Children’s Garden will be a place where children can learn about herbs in a colorful, child-centered environment. The Sensory Garden will also be on the grounds of the Wynne Home, adjacent to the Ella Ruth Herb Garden.
The garden is a lovely addition to the Wynne Home and to Huntsville. With the Children’s Sensory Garden, it will become a destination for families and an educational opportunity for the school children who visit the Wynne Home each year.