Chesapeake Bay Herb Society
The Herb Society’s contribution entails developing and maintaining The Herb Garden at Pickering Creek. In March 2003, CBHS assumed responsibility for the garden’s management and its future as an educational tool and an aesthetic experience for the public, by adopting the management, design and maintenance of the existing garden.
The Chesapeake Bay Herb Society has formed a partnership with Pickering Creek Audubon Center, a working tidewater farm and natural science center, sponsored by the Maryland/DC and the Chesapeake Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society. It is on a 400 acre property that boasts 100 acres of forests, a mile of shoreline, fresh water wetlands, gardens and bird sanctuary . Pickering Creek is a community based organization fostering conservation of natural resources through environmental education and outreach. Pickering activities focus on outdoor education experiences for more than 16,000 students each year.
The society also participates in the Pickering Creek Annual Harvest Hoedown, during October. This popular celebration is highlighted by nature and farm demonstrations. Herb Society members are on hand to discuss their projects and answer your gardening questions.
During the summer, Monday mornings are the official work days. It is also an informal “open house” for the public, as members demonstrate growing practices, harvesting and uses of herbs. A Master Gardener is usually on hand to answer any challenging questions you may have. The Pickering Creek Gardens are a delight to visit and it's also a great opportunity to learn from the expertise of gardeners who love to share their experiences and stories! The program is free. When visiting Pickering Creek, a stop at the garden should not be missed.
In 2004, the members completely redesigned the old garden, replacing pressure treated lumber with brick pavers for new raised beds and picturesque gravel paths in the form of a 17th century maze. Other enhancements include a rain barrel. They then re-planted the entire garden with hundreds of herbs and related plants in the new beds and in attractive containers. The new plan separated the plantings into various themes: tea garden, edible flowers, pizza garden, fragrance, shade plants and culinary herbs. Many plants represent diverse cultures. Garden maintenance was converted from conventional methods to organic farming techniques to demonstrate the success of “natural gardening.