Exploring the Chelsea Physic Garden

CPG-1Andrea here, Where I live in New England, the weather has been unseasonably chilly, so the unfurling of Spring hasn’t yet burst into full bloom. But the flickers of nascent green and tantalizing hints of color from early flowers in the local gardens give promise that my daily walks will soon be alive with the sights and scents of the natural world cycling into its peak season.
 
Sir Hans SloaneNow, I’m not gardener. I’m too impatient to wait for several years for tiny plants mature into the original vision for the space. And weeding, mulching, deadheading feels like drudgery . . . I am much happier appreciating the work of others!
 
Which is to say, I very much enjoy gardens for the pure sensory pleasure of seeing the colors and textures, and savoring the scents and sounds of the bees busy at work pollinating. But I also find that I have a special appreciation for “practical” gardens, like herb gardens. And my very favorite are physic gardens, which are designed for medicinal purposes.
 
So in the spirit of celebrating the start here in the Northern hemisphere of gardens come to life, I thought I'd give a quick look at the history of Chelsea Physic Garden, one of Britain’s oldest gardens devoted to medicinal plants.

Read more

London Calling! Part 2

IMG_4262by Mary Jo

On Wednesday I talked a bit about museums I visited on my recent week long getaway in London, and they were great. Today I'm going to riff about the people and non-museum spaces, which was even more fun!  (The very British shop window to the left was in the St. James area, about which more below.)

A catalyst for the trip was the opportunity to take an interesting workshop, which I did and very interesting it was, but what made London special was the people. Firstly, I stayed with a writer friend at her home in Chelsea, a gorgeous little townhouse just off the King's Road. In the 17th century it was literally the King's Road, a private route that King Charles II used to travel to Kew, and it was private until 1830. (Though a privileged few could also use it.)

 

Read more