Are Hobbits Herbalists? by Ruth Ridley

Hobbiton is a wonderful place to visit

I haven’t read Tolkein’s The Hobbit for a few years, but greatly enjoyed the films, so couldn’t resist the opportunity to visit the Hobbiton film set when I was in New Zealand a few weeks ago.

Herbs everywhere

Ruth at Hobbiton
Ruth at Hobbiton

The film set was built to last as a tourist attraction after the filming had finished and each home was completely believable with its own back-story…

Most hobbits are clearly gardeners. There are 44 hobbit homes in Hobbiton, and nearly every one had a beautiful front garden.

Hobbiton is a well-defined society with each home having its own character – there is even a cluster of alms houses and a communal veg plot. Fruit trees grow everywhere.


Gardening hobbits

herb dryer
A pretty Hobbiton house with herb dryer hanging by the front door
vegetable gardening Hobbiton
The communal veg plot at Hobbiton clearly utilises companion planting
lavender nasturtiums herbs
Herbs growing in the veg plot – lavender and nasturtiums
lemon verbena herb
Another herb in the vegetable plot – lemon verbena
salvia herb
This Hobbit likes salvias
echinacea herb grown by hobbits
I saw quite a few front doors with an echinacea plant nearby – Hobbits see the importance of boosting their immune systems!
herbal tinctures
Was this Hobbit responsible for herbal tinctures and decoctions?
beneficial pollinators
Beekeeping not only provides a source of food, but also beneficial pollinators
decorated gourds
Hobbits have time for natural crafts such as decorating gourds
bag end front door
Bag End is the most important house in Hobbiton and has a beautiful front garden with echinacea
hobbits grow fruit
Fruit growing in front of Sam’s front door
sams herbs
Sam has left his waistcoat outside. He has a bunch of herbs drying by his door.
greenery at hobbiton
I commented to my travelling companion that I would prefer a water-front apartment if I were a Hobbit!

 A great afternoon out for herbalists and non-herbalists alike!


Written by Ruth Ridley