A thriving, centuries-old herb garden in Sayville
Sayville Historical Society secretary Suzanne Robilotta (left) and homestead office manager Rodney Lawrence-Dudley (right) stand in the herb garden with garden club member Dorris Ostrander as she conducts a small fall clean-out.

SCN/Fuentes

A thriving, centuries-old herb garden in Sayville

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
10/3/2019


The garden is situated to the west of the Sayville Historical Society located at the Edwards Homestead and dates back to the colonial times, still planted with only herbs that would have been found during that time.

The kitchen, says Dorris Ostrander, member of the garden club and herb garden volunteer, was situated with a door to the garden for cooking purposes. The garden, according to historical society secretary Suzanne Robilotta, featured items like lamb’s ear and tansy for medicinal bandages and to ward off the bugs from entering the home (respectively).

“We have only planted herbs that would have grown at that time; we have added nothing new or different,” promised Rodney Lawrence-Dudley, the Sayville Historical Society’s office manager and a member of the garden club.

Of the over a dozen herb varieties, there are familiar items such as basil, sage, oregano, parsley and dill.

The Sayville Garden Club, with its approximately 70 members, tends to the garden, cleaning, weeding, watering and growing. It was originally restored by the community with new fencing before it was taken over by the club. The club has also added signage to identify the plants and intends to recreate a sensory garden for the visually impaired at the raised garden bed that features items like rosemary, lemon thyme and mint.

That raised portion of the garden will also soon feature signage written in braille so that impaired visitors can pinch a plant, sniff and figure out what it is. It was originally built and donated by the Sayville Rotary Club and was at one point fixed up as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Though the garden is now more for educational purposes, the club, homestead and passersby still enjoy it.