The Brightside: Front-Door Garden Serves Purpose
LEWES, Del. – One giant front door garden in Lewes is beautiful to look at, but it also serves a much deeper purpose.
“Sometimes it takes my breath away, especially if I see hummingbirds, I almost get goosebumps because it’s really just such a joy,” Holly Shimizu, the owner of the garden, said.
Holly is talking about her front door garden outside of her home in Lewes, packed with a variety of plants, herbs, and flowers.
“I wanted to create this garden because I love gardening, and because I really got interested in wildlife, in addition to my interest in herbal plants and fragrant plants,” she said.
While the garden is absolutely beautiful to look at, Holly says front door gardens and the plants within them actually served a much more useful purpose historically.
“You bring them inside for cooking, for medicine, for fragrance, all the different ways they were useful, and essential, to early American life,” she explained.
And she’s done exactly that, finding herbs and plants that fit her family’s lifestyle and then growing them right outside of her front door.
“I have a focus on really four groups of plants, first I have herbal plants, and we cook a lot, so I focus a lot on flavor,” Holly explained. And then I have native plants, just because they’re really specially connected to many birds and many pollinators and butterflies.”
But cooking isn’t the only way Holly finds a purpose for these plants.
“Then I have fragrant plants, and I actually have a still, and I harvest the plants and then I distill them and I make things with the products of the distillation,” Holly explained.
One of our first questions was, how long did this take? Holly says a few years, and while the process of hardscaping, mulching, planting, and watering definitely took time, Holly says the work was worth it to bring this garden to life. It’s a sense of togetherness at a time when a lot of us are still even stuck at home.
“The garden is healing,” she said. “We’ve been through covid, and it’s been a difficult time for all of us, and the garden and the act of gardening, has really been a savior I have to say.”