by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

The herb garden at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. The doctor’s museum is in the background. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The herb garden at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. The doctor’s museum is in the background. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY


At the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village, right next to the Doctor’s Museum, which showcases historical medicinal techniques, there sits a small herb garden.

Roses, Foxglove, Thyme, sage, lavender, oregano, peppermint, and even catnip all grow in the garden, and all have medicinal properties and were once used by doctors.

In 1997, Virginia Frazier helped a Girl Scout, Blair Gutledge, with her project, an herb garden at the Mint Hill Historical Society.

After Gutledge grew out of girl scouts and moved on, Virginia and her daughter Brenda Dills would resurrect the neglected herb garden every year, to keep the plants growing and healthy. They decided it would be smarter and easier to just maintain the garden themselves, which they still do today.

When students tour the historic village, they learn about the herbs and what their medicinal uses were.

“I like having the herbs available for children,” Dills said. “Because it’s a learning project for them.”

Dills and Frazier are experts when it comes to herbs, owners of Adventures in Herbs, an herb store located just across the Union County line in Indian Trail.

They are Union County Master Gardeners, members of both the Charlotte and Mint Hill herb guilds, and Adventures in Herbs supplies its wares for the Union County Master Gardeners’ herb sale, the Hezekiah Alexander Museum, and helps to keep up the herb garden at the McGill Rose Garden.

They bought their store, Frazier’s Grocery more than 30 years ago, and started Adventures in Herbs in the early ‘90s, but have, “always had a garden.”

Adventures in Herbs started as a side business, to grow plants for sale, and today, they grow heirloom peppers, tomatoes, and just about any herb, having the largest selection of herbs in the Southeast.

At home, they grow a huge garden, enough to make all their own tomato sauces, juices, and soups. They grow their own corn, make their own pickles, and generate a lot of produce, so much so that they hardly have to buy groceries at the store.

Some of their talents will be showcased at Discover Mint Hill this Saturday at the Mint Hill Historical Society, where the Mint Hill Herb Association will host a booth, selling rosemary, lavender, oregano, chives, dill, and cilantro, just to name a few.