This garden, with its central well surrounded by symmetrical beds, is inspired by monks' gardens from medieval times. It displays a selection of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Starting in the 7th century, gardens became an important part of monastery life. Next to the flower gardens, where monks would go to relax and meditate, would be the vegetable garden, the orchard and the medicinal plant garden. Square or rectangular enclosures, with beds neatly marked off and aligned, they symbolized the ideal of order in opposition to the chaos of the outside world. In the centre of the garden, a fountain or well evoked the purifying power of baptism and was used to water the plants.
In 812, Charlemagne recommended 90 species of vegetables, aromatic herbs, medicinal plants and fruit trees in his Capitulary de Villis. Many of these species were cultivated in monastic gardens at the time. Medicinal plants or "simples" were the particular realm of physician-monks, who developed a vast pharmacopoeia in the Middle Ages.