Torrey Lot Herbal Garden

May 1, 2013

In a triangular island at the intersection of Spruce and Fir Avenues you will find a monument to Charles T. Torrey, a martyr for the cause of abolition of slavery.  This prominent lot has always had plantings of various kinds such as the ground-cover Cotoneaster and at times a bed of Daffodils.  At first these plants were paid for from a fund established by his friends and colleagues, but later the lot was put under trustee care.

In the mid- 2000s the landscaping around the memorial was re-imagined by our horticulture staff and replanted mainly with herbal plants and a few seasonal pansies or annuals for a splash of color.  The current plants have been selected for their fragrance, flower color and shape, benefit to native insects, and although we do not use them for such, they all have either medicinal properties or culinary uses.  The plantings vary from year to year but they always include:


Torrey Lot, May 2013

lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus)

sage (Salvia officinalis)

rosemary (Rosmarinus officinali)

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

arnica chamissonis

chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

scullcap (Scutellaria barbata)


Make this delightful herbal garden a destination on your next visit to Mount Auburn and then try growing some of what you see in your own home garden!


Torrey Plantings, 2003

About the Author: Jessica Bussmann

Director of Education & Visitor Services View all posts by Jessica Bussmann →

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