Health and Beauty Trail
Ālave Manor was a small manor, and in its center - a very rational plan. The farm garden was located nearby the manor house - close behind the outbuildings.
The path of healthy beauty surrounds the site of the manor’s farm garden along the perimeter.
In the 19th century, when landscape parks were in vogue throughout Europe, including the provinces of Vidzeme and Kurzeme of the Russian Empire, the vegetable garden (fruit, vegetable and root) in manors had long been separated. In large manors, the farm garden was often located 200 - 300 m, but in some even 2 km from the manor house and the park.
150 years ago, and in the small estates still at the beginning of the 20th century, cabbage and beets were not grown in a field, but in a vegetable garden; onions, parsley and dill were also grown there. Heat-demanding vegetables and herbs were grown in a greenhouse or pots. Beds of herbs and medicinal plants near the house were only in monasteries and fortresses.
Medicinal plants were not really in fashion in the 19th century, they were even considered poisonous. At that time, only potions prepared in a pharmacy were recognized, which were gradually replaced by tablets in the 20th century. Sometimes noblemen’s wives and daughters who had received medical education came into contact with peasant wives who collected medicinal plants and became interested in herbs. There are several stories in Latgale about noblemen’s wives who were sympathetic to sick farmers and secretly treated them with various teas.
Needless to say, the grass in the landscape parks of estates was what is now called a natural meadow -– blooming perennials of the local flora. A lawn that was mowed only at the end of summer could contain 10 or more different medicinal plants.
Since the place of the manor’s farm garden has remained practically intact in Ālave Manor, it is possible to:
- partially restore the natural ground cover with several demonstrable medicinal plants;
- visibly demonstrate the historical planning of the center of the manor;
- cultivate the manor’s vegetable garden in perspective and demonstrate it in miniature;
- reserve a small area for outdoor events.
Landscape architech Ilze Māra Janelis