Sarah Orne Jewett House

Kitchen Garden

A small clapboarded outbuilding in a garden with trees overhead and a small part of a fence seen in the background.

Among their cultivation efforts, the Jewett sisters kept a kitchen garden. Different from the purely sustenance-providing kitchen garden of the colonial era, a Victorian kitchen garden was meant to be visually appealing as well as functional. Ornamental flowers might be grown among the produce and culinary and medicinal herbs to create an attractive display.

As a physician’s daughter, Sarah had an interest in medicinal herbs and was known to recommend herbal treatment cures to friends: “I tried for two or three days to follow Sarah’s prescription which seems to have been borrowed from ‘Kubla Khan.’”- John Greenleaf Whittier (Letter to Annie Fields, February 4, 1888.) MSS FI 72-4782, James T. Fields Collection, Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Transcription by Terry Heller, Coe College.