Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in the year 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries and was also known as Apothecaries Garden. Back in the time, the idea of this garden was to grow plants with healing properties and be a growing region for various species of plants. However, the main purpose of the Garden was to provide training of the young apprentices. The location of the Garden is considered ideal considering the river situated nearby. The river is responsible for the good survival and growth of various plant species. Offering a warmer climate to plants which are not native to the local climate, these plans are able to thrive and fight against the harsh weather of the United Kingdom. It also serves as an important transportation route which encouraged the movement of plants and interested individuals and the seed exchange program as well in the later years. This program went a long way in establishing the reputation of the garden as a successful one. Even today this program is in practice by the existing administration.
The Chelsea Physic Garden is the second largest botanical Garden in the United Kingdom and the oldest one to date. (Kew Gardens is the largest garen in the UK). The plants in the garden are situated according to the environmental conditions they prefer and can grow in. There are different types of plants found in the garden. The rock Garden within is one of the most visited spots where rocks collected from the Tower of London are placed. Other than that, some were brought by Sir Joseph Banks in the year 1772. The rock Garden was completely in the year 1773 and is considered the oldest rock garden to exist till date.
Different personalities played different roles in the promotion of the garden. The Chelsea Physics garden is associated with several well renowned botanists and explorers who brought changes to the garden over its long life span. For instance, in the year 1848 tea seedlings were brought all the way to Britain from China in order to establish a tea industry in the subcontinent.
In later years, the authorities decided to expand their expertise by lecturing and tutoring young professionals interested in becoming botanists or botany teachers. This step towards education proved to be very fruitful for the Society. The Garden assumed a role in researching into the healing characteristics of the plants and their use in natural medicine.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, the Society of Apothecaries decided to hand over the administration to City Parochial Foundation taking care f the running of the garden from here onwards. After that the Garden was opened to visits by general public and converted into a registered charity.
The Garden is on the Chelsea Embankment of the River Thames and close to South Kensington Station with links to
Piccadilly Circus Station for the West End of London and
Knightsbridge. Sloane Square is on the District and Circle lines with connections to
Tower Hill Station. The main
London theatres including the London Palladium are available to make a great day out. It is also close to the
Chelsea FC ground.
Chelsea Physics garden encompasses a total area of 3.8 acres. Its neighbours are Royal Brompton Hospital on the northern side, the Embankment of the southern side, and Swan Walk on the Eastern Side. The Garden accommodates offices, lecture rooms, curator’s house and various greenhouses. Rest of the garden is being utilized for plants.