Monks Began English Gardening Tradition

Monasteries were a stronghold of medieval gardening in Europe. The manual labor of gardening taught humility and thus benefited the monks' souls, while the herbs and vegetables they grew aided their health. A 12th century plan of Canterbury Cathedral includes the herb gardens that supplied the infirmary.

Early gardens contained edible or medicinal plants; the ornamental garden was a late-period invention. However, the monks also used their green cloisters as places of rest and contemplation.