The Herb Garden is the oldest permanent garden on the property and is a project of the Arkansas Unit of the Herb Society of America.
The Herb Garden was conceived and championed by former First Lady Betty Bumpers. It was designed by Wiley Jones in 1978 and was built with cross ties. The original bed was 15’x32’ consisting of five raised beds. In 1984 the Governor’s Mansion Commission approved plans for a more permanent garden. It has been enhanced over the years under the direction of landscape designer Cinde Bauer Drilling and maintained and financed by members of the Herb Society.
The armillary, or spherical astrolabe, in the center of the garden was found in the Mansion attic, and was placed in the herb garden as a focal point. The Mansion culinary staff gathers the herbs for use in cooking and table decorations.
Among the herbs here in season are rosemary, thyme, lavender, oregano, basil, chives, ginger lily, sage, winter savory, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena, and parsley.