Chelsea Physic Garden
Tucked away beside the Thames, Chelsea Physic Garden is a celebration of the beauty and importance of plants.
This walled Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for its apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants. It became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world.
Despite the roar of traffic from the neighbouring Chelsea Embankment, this formal historic walled garden is a magical place. Founded in 1673 as a botanic garden to promote the study of medicinal plants, the Physic Garden continues the same role today and is filled with therapeutic flora from around the world. Most specimens, from traditional medicinal plants like verbena to medicinal plants popular today such as evening primrose, are clearly labelled with their botanical classification and place of natural origin.
The herb and medicinal plant collections fall into three categories: the Garden of World Medicine (whose plant beds are arranged by culture, for example Maori medicine), the Pharmaceutical Garden (whose beds are arranged by branch of medicine, such as oncology), and the Garden of Edible and Useful Plants.
On the western side, the Historical Walk showcases the work of well-known gardeners associated with the Physic Garden, such as Philip Miller who brought the garden to prominence in the i8th century. Enjoying a balmy micro-climate, the 3 1/2 acre garden also cultivates rare and tender plants, such as those from Crete, Madeira mid the Canary Islands, and is home to the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in the country as well one of the earliest rock gardens in England.
A profusion of benches line the scrunchy gravel paths, offering an ideal place to while away a sunny summer afternoon in the ay. The shop is well-stocked with gardening goodies, own-produced honey and homegrown plants and seeds. The café serves delicious homemade food and is one of the nicest places in London to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea.