The Horticulture Learning Center in Cotton Tenant North, next to the Ethnobotanical Herb Garden.


"Change Over Time: Natural Resources and the Innovations of American Horticulture"

Strawbery Banke Museum’s Horticulture Learning Center in the restored Cotton Tenant House (North) is designed as a teaching space for the Historic Landscape Department. Complementing the Traditional Crafts Center in the adjacent house and bordering the Ethnobotanical Herb Garden (created in 2013), the Center’s programs preserve and interpret heirloom plants and gardens, teach hands-on garden crafts, and archive online learning opportunities utilizing the museum’s garden-related historical collections. 

Experience hands-on programs inspired by the museum’s heirloom gardens, plants, and investigations based on 300+ years of garden-related items in the historical collections. Museum Horticulture Team Members introduce visitors to garden and nature-inspired science investigations and crafts inspired by the history of the site:

• distilling essential oils
• microscope investigations
• wreath-making
• harvesting and saving heirloom seeds
• sustainable gardening?

Gardens and nature have inspired a wide variety of crafts and activities throughout history. Some crafts are meant to make essential garden work more fun, others can be used to create beautiful ornaments and gifts, and all stimulate dialogue and creativity.  The Horticulture Learning Center gives visitors the opportunity to learn how these activities fit the stories of Strawbery Banke.

Flower drying and wreath-making
Making dried leaf "roses"

Garden Journal (PDF)
Scavenger Hunt (PDF)
Language of Flowers (PDF)
Make Your Own Herbarium (PDF)
History of the Herbarium (PDF)
The Strawbery Banke Museum Herbarium (PDF)
Heirloom Seed Saving


These 2-hour workshops (11:00 am to 1:00 pm), led by guest horticulture experts, teach adults and children about plants, the roles they have played in the Puddle Dock neighborhood, and practical ideas to take home to their own gardens. Members $10. Non-Members $15.

Saturday, May 18, 2019Urban Garden Designs: Thinking Outside the Box!
Willa Coroka, owner of The Magpie's Apprentice, teaches the basics of botany and various garden designs including terraced, vertical, and hydroponic, miniature, water, up-cycled container, counter-top, and no-yard gardens.

Saturday, June 15, 2019 - Fermentation Fundamentals
Local herbalist and seasoned gardener, Helen Levitt, returns to Strawbery Banke for a program on how fermentation transforms foods and beverages in countless ways.

Saturday, August 24, 2019 - Cooking with Heirlooms
Liz Barbour, professional cook and avid gardener, offers tips on using every inch of a small garden, teaches about varieties of ornamental and edible plants, and performs a cooking demonstration with a sampling of two recipes. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - Permacultural Soil & Gardening
Certified permaculture designer, Amy Antonucci, addresses how simple methods utilizing readily available, inexpensive materials can create magnificent gardens without digging or rototilling.

Sunday, October 6, 2019 - Garden Herbs: Their Cultivation, Cookery, Cures, and Caveats
Participants learn about a range of medicinal and culinary species—from use in ancient traditions to gourmet cookery, military history, and modern medicine. In addition, the talk will include a special emphasis on herb use during World War II, with references to Judith Sumner's recently published book. Join us for this intriguing overview of medicinal and culinary plants—from ancient traditions to gourmet cookery, military history, and modern medicine.


Many thanks to the following contributors for supporting the development of educational and interactive horticulture programs at Strawbery Banke by providing funding for the establishment of the museum's Horticulture Learning Center:

Roger R. and Theresa S. Thompson Endowment
The Mary and Storer Goodwin Decatur Foundation
Cabot Family Foundation
Francis R. Dewing Foundation
Rosamond Thaxter Foundation
The Putnam Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

NorthEast Seacoast Unit of the Herb Society of America
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension/Master Gardener Program
Slow Food Seacoast

Louise Richardson in memory of Bertha and William Parsons
Laura Brown
Hendrika Sluder