Chelsea Physic Garden is an excellent place to start my journey of finding the best botanical spots in UK. I will visit the best parks and gardens of London and UK and share my experiences and tips with you.
The story of the park begins in 1673 when the Society of Apothecaries of London created a Botanics Garden at Chelsea so as to teach their apprentices how to grow medicinal plants, as well as giving them an opportunity to study them. They picked a four-acre site beside the Thames as it had a nice climate of free – draining soil and warmth of a southern location. When it was established the neighborhood was quite popular for its orchards, market gardens and marvelous houses belonging to King Henry VIII and its reputation hardly changed since then; with the London flower show being held just 10 minutes away and many other significant botanical establishments in the area.
Finding the Garden may be a bit of a problem as it is surrounded by a brick wall, so it’s not immediately obvious that you have arrived at the destination. I wandered around for a while before I spotted the gate.
So the journey begins:
In the center of the garden you can find an impressive statue of Sir Hans Sloane. He played a significant role in the garden’s history. In 1722 he gave the Apothecaries a lease on the land for a rent of £5 a year in perpetuity, on the condition that ‘it be forever kept up and maintained as a physic garden’.
Near the statue there is the oldest man-made pond rock garden; It is created with rocks from the Tower of London and Icelandic lava, just to name a few.
Old rocks are not the only decoration of the pond. Here you can find a bust of Joseph Banks, explorer and botanist who played a significant role in the history of Botanics.
The garden’s southern location allowed for the biggest olive tree in London to be grown. However, I was unable to capture its true magnificence.
When you get tired of exploring the garden you can grab a cup of coffee with a cake or maybe an alcoholic beverage in Tangerine Dream Cafe. The place is located in an amazing spot with a stunning view.
There is so much more to enjoy in the garden. Wish I had spent more time in it, but as the sun was about to sit down, I rushed off to meet up with friends.