While strolling through the entry garden at Riverview Park, some may have noticed a new addition to the area. An herbal knot garden now occupies the 10×10 empty flower bed that once lay waiting to be awakened. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Horticulturist, Angela Yuele, wanted to fill the space with something unique and try her hand at her first knot garden.
“The Riverview Visitor Center has an English cottage feel, so I thought it would be the perfect space for an English knot garden.”
Knot gardens got their start in English and French tradition meant to mirror the pattern of British embroidery of the time. They created a more formal, yet inviting ambiance to gardens and provided a feast for the senses with their aromatic herbs and flowers. The intricate gardens are typically laid-out in a square or rectangular shape and require meticulous clipping and maintenance to keep their structure and form. As with the case of the knot garden at Riverview Park, contrasting color can provide the illusion of interlocking knotwork.
Angela carefully planned the knot garden to not only be visually appealing, but also a space that sparks visitor’s sense of smell with the wafting fragrance of earthy herbs. The garden is framed by oregano with lavender dotting the outer four corners and a line of chives standing guard along one side. The intertwining knots are made of common thyme and lemon thyme to give a slight color variation to enhance the illusion. The knot garden is topped off with a rosemary bush as the central focal point.
“The knot garden is still in training, but filled in well for only a couple months of growth,” Angela said.
Park visitors are more than welcome to pick the herbs. One of our dedicated volunteers has already used some to spice up her spaghetti sauce. After visiting the Riverview Park knot garden, be sure to check out the Elizabethan Herb Garden in Mellon Park maintained by the Western Pennsylvania Unit of the Herb Society of America.Looking for ways you can get involved with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy? Check out our upcoming Volunteer Days or consider making a gift online