Chelsea Physic Garden
This beautiful garden is just off the Thames in posh Chelsea. It was originally founded in 1673 in the countryside to train apothecaries on how to identify plants. Like many areas of modern London, it was later eaten by the city. It’s now London’s secret garden!
The Garden is walled and used to be located on the banks of the Thames, until the Thames was moved north enough to add a four lane road and some extra!
At the centre of the Garden is a lovely statue of Hans Sloane, who’s collection was the founding one at the British Museum. Sloane was a physician who had trained at the Gardens and later became the owner of most of Chelsea. He signed an agreement that the land will be rented to the gardens for 5 pounds a year, forever!
As these are gardens and not an indoor style museum, they have creative ways to display exhibits like these little boxes or with wagons. These allow for interpretation in the space and protection from the elements.
The Gardens are organised into many subsections. This photo is in the Family gardens – where each bed is planted with members of the same plant family! I had no idea the Rose family was so big!
Beware the poisonous plants! Often plants that are poisonous can be good for you in the correct dose. It really depends what part of the plant you use, how much and how it is prepared. They even had Belladonna!
A view over the Garden wall! It was a beautiful day when I visited – there were loads of people sitting on benches, at the cafe or relaxing on the grass.
It is such a beautiful place! They do different themes every year. This year’s theme is ‘Captivating Scents’ and you can follow your nose around the scent trail. I adored the Sweet Pea Avenue!
Pros: Great history, amazing location, interesting living collection, amazing staff, good for all ages and mobilities. Delicious cafe and adorable shop. Fun events!
Cons: I always want more interpretation – they do their best, which is great. The cafe has Chelsea prices so watch out. If you have kids watch out for the poisonous plants!!!