Traipsing Through the Heirloom Garden

We took off for the mid-Atlantic last week to celebrate 20 years of our family. We decided to introduce the kids to some of our favorite places from our early days. One of our favorites is and will always be the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Boats, boats, and more boats with a lighthouse thrown in for good measure.

In the 20 years since our last visit (y’all don’t wait that long, trust me), they’ve expanded their campus and collection. It’s even better than it was at our last visit.┬áThe museum is very kid-friendly (just be careful in the working boats area). They even have wooden replica boats for the kids to climb on. With chairs in the shade for mamas and daddies to enjoy while the kids play.


One of the additions that made my fingers tingle (there were many but this one got the green thumbs thing) was an heirloom garden. The centerpiece of the garden is the restored home of Eliza Bailey Mitchell, the closest sibling of Frederick Douglass. Born in St Michael’s, her descendants donated the home to the museum to preserve her legacy. I wish those walls could talk.

Surrounding the Mitchell home is the heirloom garden with rare and antique plants that tell the horticultural history of the Chesapeake Bay area. From Native American to 19th century plantings, the breadth of the garden is amazing.

And it even has a plant key for each garden! Yes, each box has its’ own guide for what is planted in each box and what was traditionally grown in family gardens. Be still, my racing heart!

Native American garden


17th Century

18th Century

19th Century

Hops, very important for home-brewing.

We even found a friend while checking out the 19th century garden. Lots of chrysalis hung off some of the dried up veggie plants.

If you need a place to run away for a weekend, definitely go to St Michael’s, Maryland and the ┬áChesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The Museum is a wonderful way to spend the day.


    • It is a very well-laid out and planned garden. It’s nice to have all the info handy. I think I took as many pictures of the plant guide as I did of the plants.
      Thanks for stopping by, Charlie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *