Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Urban Physic Garden

A Facebook friend posted this article about the opening of an Urban Physic Garden in London, England. I love it!

Physic (in this case, meaning 'the science of healing') Gardens were developed in the 1500 and 1600's in Europe. They were usually attached to universities and used to educate physicians and apothecaries in the uses of medicinal plants and to conduct botanical research. The Chelsea Physic Garden, is a well known garden that was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. The garden still exists and is now open to the public.

Though this space is temporary, I love what the Urban Physic Garden is doing. They took an empty, wasted lot and transformed it into an inviting, vibrant, beautiful space, constructed with salvaged materials and donated plants.

The events they are offering sound wonderful. There are herb walks and workshops, a baking school, lunchtimes lectures, film nights and more!

Wow. I would love to see something like this happen here. Anyone want to start a Physic Garden with me? :)

Image Source


JG said...

"Our café, found in an old ambulance" heh heh heh, the Physic garden's café is a converted ambulance. ...nice touch!

TechChik said...

Got any place in mind?

Amber said...

JG- I thought the ambulance was really cool too.

TechChik- How about parliment hill! :)

I would actually like to see a permanent physic garden installed somewhere. There is a small, demonstration medicinal herb garden at the Billings Estate with a plaque explaining a bit about the remedies that Lamira Billings used on the homestead. (There's even one of her herbal recipes for a cough powder that I want to recreate!) I adore that spot and often take the long way home from work to visit it.

I can imagine expanding on that concept, though likely in another location, possibly more central.

I do like the idea of turning an empty lot in useable space, but I don't know if that could be done permanently or not. Hmmm....

There's a guerilla herbalist in California who treats street people and sex workers for free. He creates herb gardens in empty lots, shows the people where they are, how to use them and take care of them. I think that would be awesome if it could be incorporated into a working, physic garden, not just a pretty space to look at. Dundonald park maybe? By one (or all) of the community health centres?