The  2.5 acre  Medicinal Herb Garden is located on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle and was created  by the Pharmacy Department in 1911.  It is currently supported by the Biology Department and the Grounds Department and is home to a wide variety of healing plants from around the world.  Most of the plants are in formal garden beds but many more grow in the wooded borders.  The Medicinal Herb Garden is free and open at all times.

Whether transplanting, saving seeds for our international seed exchange program, researching medicinal plants to add to the collection, updating spreadsheets, starting seeds for the garden, resurfacing the gravel pathways, weeding, composting or building new borders for the beds etc., as the sole employee, I never run out of things to do here. It is a great pleasure to work in a garden and especially to stay in one garden for a long time.  I am blessed to make a living doing just that, though if someone will kindly pay me to vagabond in the mountains with no fixed schedule, I will tender my resignation immediately.

See you in the garden.

Keith Possee


Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions.

You can contact me directly at posseek AT gmail DOT com

The UW Medicinal Herb Garden official website is: http://www.biology.washington.edu/mhg/



7 Responses to About

  1. Kellye says:

    Hi! Nice web-sight*
    I live in Austin Tex. but am really hoping to be moving to Arcata Cal this fall.
    Do a lot of the plants and trees on your sight grow there also? I’ve been trying to find information on what and when to plant there but I guess I just haven’t worded it right yet in my search. Fruit of any kind would be wonderful also!
    Any advice or ideas you could give me would be very much appreciated*
    Thanks, Kellye

  2. Keith Possee says:

    Hi Kellye,
    Arcata is almost 600 miles south of Seattle. The winters don’t get as cold there, so you should have pretty good luck with anything you’ve seen posted on this blog. I grow olives and pomegranates and capers in the Medicinal Herb Garden. The pomegranates are quite hardy but don’t get the summer heat they need to reach full size. Growing olives and capers here is an act of carefully controlled folly but I can’t help myself. I also grow pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana) which are surprisingly tough but unlikely to produce fruit any time soon, and Chilean guava (Ugni molinae) which do well but need to be covered in deep freezes, like the olives and capers.
    Here we get an occasional deep freeze when temperatures can get into the teens. Ouch, for many zone 8 and 9 plants! You won’t have that problem but your summers are quite cool in Arcata. If I were you, I’d talk to the locals and start walking your new neighborhood to see what people are growing. My advice is be bold and try everything you want and have room for, then keep what succeeds and pull the rest. And just keep trying new plants. Life is short.
    Good luck,

  3. Lisa Morrow says:

    Keith: Just spent a pleasant hour wandering through this blog; it’s almost as good as walking through the actual garden. Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to subscribe!
    Cheers, L.

  4. Mike Crowley says:

    Hi. I work at the Medical Center across the street. For the past few months in the mornings before work I walk through the gardens and take pictures of mostly blossoms and was posting them to my Facebook page as kind of my art therapy. My friends just loved it and I got so many compliments that I made a page just for them.


    Just thought I’d share here. Thanks for the most wonderful garden!!

  5. Maria Koehmstedt says:

    Keith, I was thrilled to be reminded of this oasis in the UW campus by a post by one of my favorite authors, Deborah Crombie. She set her new book in the hidden gardens of London and today’s post has a photo of the Chelsea Physic Garden. When I was in graduate school at UW, I’d walk in the Medicinal Herb Garden during the rare occurrences between classes and work when I had some time without homework looming over me. It took me to another world. And this farm girl from North Dakota discovered that rosemary can grow into a shrub that makes a beautiful hedge. I look forward to reading your posts.

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