While many gardens and parks in London are mostly a display of beauty and things of art, there is so much more to see and learn in the Chelsea Physic Garden. While it does offer you an amazing display of a stunning collection of over 5,000 different plants spread in a beautiful park, the Garden’s goal is to introduce you to the importance of all these plants, their properties and practical use. You do not get merely pretty flowers to admire, you get an education in botany, a course in practical gardening and learn about all sorts of edible and medicinal herbs – one of the reasons why it is also called the Apothecaries’ Garden besides being founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. In fact, its original purpose was for medicine students to study the medicinal properties of the variety of plants. It is the oldest garden in London, founded way back in 1673, and it still has the qualities to astound its visitors with a variety of attractions.
Chelsea Physic Garden’s original purpose – the education in botany – is still one of the Garden’s main attractions and strong sides. Lara Bean leads a series of seasonal workshops to introduce the healing power of plants to every visitor interested in hearing. Take a part in her workshops and find out all about natural remedies, how to identify the different variety of plants, how to create medicine and teas, and everything else a given plant can offer you during a specific season.
And if the listening to professional gardeners and exchanging ideas is not enough for you, then you can join the Sunday Sessions between April and October. You can go by yourself or bring the whole family for spending quality time in the greenness of the gardens and receive a hands-on education about the gardens, plants and how they change during the seasons. There are thematic sessions from which you can gain knowledge as well as a memento or two for your home.
The education the Gardens provide is not just for fun. School and college teachers can sign up for a variety of programmes for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). They can receive a paid education in the general environment, literacy and numeracy in landscaping, growing understandings, and smarter cultivating. After all, that was its original purpose, and it will continue to teach students and teachers for as long as the grounds stand and can be maintained. As for garden maintenance, everybody can get acquainted with a variety of facts to help them out in their own garden.
Book & Gift Shop
When you are not too busy walking through the marvellous green grounds or browsing the various plants, you can always stop by the Book & Gift Shop where you can find a variety of garden guides on every topic, and numerous products from the garden such as home-grown plants or seeds, handmade soaps, and honey from the nectar of the Garden’s flowers. For those who want souvenirs, the shop offers different cards from illustrations of the Garden and games and toys for the children.
And if you think that the whole park is all beauty and education and no art, then you can get acquainted with the variety of entertainment attractions that are offered every now and then. For example, this September the HandleBards – a theatre troupe of actors on bicycles – will perform Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Midsummer Night’s.
Dream in the setting of the Physic Garden.
So, whenever you have the chance, do visit the amazing Chelsea Physic Gardens. They will leave you breathless with their beauty, and will make you much more educated in garden services in just one visit.