Hello and hi. When you come to London (and I hope you do) you really must visit Chelsea Physic Garden. Just a 15 min walk from Sloane Underground/Tube station. However, if you have a poor sense of direction, it may very well take you approximately 23 minutes to arrive. People with a poor sense of direction…these are my kind of people. I get lost on average twice a day in London Town and I have been here for a New York minute. Yup.
Chelsea Physic Garden is a lovely and tranquil place. I imagine heaven looks very much like this place. When you go, you will be immediately transported into a place so serene that you will forget all your troubles and worries as well as your taxing addiction to cake (if you have one, that is). They even have unicorns and pixies there. Ok, I made that part up-but it might be true.
The Chelsea Physic Garden was established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in London in 1673. Wow. Back in 1673 in my hometown (cue Adele) the Dutch military were retaking New York from the British. Back in Britain, they were planting seeds for a garden. Just goes to show you. Anyway-the word “Physic” refers to the science of healing. The Chelsea Physic Garden (CPG) is the second oldest botanical garden in Britain, after the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1621. British people just love their gardens. Yes, yes they do. At CPG there are 5K different types of edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants. Please stay off the grass. And you better not pick any flowers/plants or else…
The rock garden at CPG is the oldest English garden devoted to alpine plants (plants that grow at a high elevation-above the tree line). In addition, the largest fruiting olive tree in Britain is nestled safely at CPG and is protected by the garden’s heat-trapping high brick walls. Also, you will find the world’s northernmost grapefruit growing outdoors at CPG.
The CPG was guarded during the tenure of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and in 1983 became a registered charity and was opened to the general public for the first time. It has been reported that when you visit CPG you get “posh points”. This means, your IQ is raised by at least 25 points and you will feel calm, serene and benevolent the moment you step into CPG. And while I have completely made all of that up, it still makes you kind of want to go-right? Yes.
In CPG, you will find the following:
- The Garden of Medicinal Plants
- The Pharmaceutical Garden-with plants arranged according to the ailment they are used to treat
- The Garden of World Medicine-with medicinal plants arranged by the culture which uses them
- The Garden of Edible and Useful Plants (although there is no plant which tastes of cake. Sigh)
- The World Woodland Garden
And that is just to name a few-you should really visit CPG. Oh and they have a cafe and a gift shop where you can buy seeds and other expensive trinkets you don’t need but will probably want. Also, the gift shop is run by a lovely Caribbean lady (who has lived in the UK for a while) whose accent is so lovely, you will feel as though you are sipping coconut water on a beach in Trinidad, underneath a right-leaning coconut tree while an island breeze tangles your hair into delicious knots. So many reasons to visit CPG!
In closing, bring money. While gardens should be F-R-E-E in my opinion, this one will cost £10.50 for adults, £6.95 for students and children under the age of 5 go for free. Nice. If you want to know more, and I know you do, I have provided the link of CPG for you. Have a great time.