Vicksburg Military Park Heritage Garden
Today Southern Gardening is visiting the Heritage Demonstration Garden in the Vicksburg National Military Park -- and it's based on typical Victorian-era kitchen gardens of the mid-19th century. The heritage demonstration garden is a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse into gardening of that era. Most interesting is the signage based on writings from the time period, we can learn firsthand the hardships and ingenuity the average family faced during the civil war.
The rustic summer house made of grapevines and roots -- with beds of flowers all around -- was a great delight to me, as was also a little vegetable garden where my brother Quincy and I planted our names in peas, lettuce and radishes. I am more and pleased with my neighbor Mrs. Willis. She sends me the finest lettuce I ever saw. She says it has been in the Vick family for 30 years. Mama is having quantities of peas, potatoes, and all things edible planted, as our only chance for anything from this time until the close of the war will be to raise it ourselves. Strict economy is to be the order of the day. Ginger is becoming a favorite garden plant in the southern states, growing luxuriantly, scarcely a garden will be found, 'ere many years, that will not have its ginger bed.
The heritage demonstration garden is a joint project of the "national parks as classrooms" program and the warren county master gardeners. When you visit the Heritage Demonstration Garden, there's lots of interpretive educational materials and modern QR resources. I'm MSU Extension horticulture specialist Gary Bachman -- and I hope you'll join us next time on Southern Gardening.