Friday, September 19, 2008
Chelsea Physic Garden
By the Embankment in Chelsea - and pre-dating it - is the Chelsea Physic Garden. You can read proper, informative stuff about it on the website.
You enter it by a little gate on Swans Walk. The big important wrought iron gates being reserved "for royalty - or exceptionally large deliveries of manure" - as we were informed by a guide.
Anyway, the garden is to be preserved in perpetuity and contains all sorts of medicinal plants and herbs collected over many years from the 17th century. There is a statue of Sir Hans Sloane - as in Sloane Square.
The shapes of the plants' leaves are amazing, though the garden has a sort of lyrical messiness since the plants are allowed to run to seed rather than being dead-headed in the usual English style.(This is so they can collect the seeds for research and so forth.)
There are lots of wheelbarrows and gardeners toiling away. Rather an enviable job, I would have thought.
It was a marvelously sunny day for early autumn.
Here are all sorts of clever and important 18th century characters near the aforementioned statue.
Lunch was served in an old house in the grounds where the tables were decorated with orange gourds and the whole thing looked like a church hall in the 1950's. The food was home made and delicious.
But we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine and quiche an delicious salads.