Chelsea Physic Garden in west London is one of the world’s oldest botanic gardens. It was established way back in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden and by the 18th century, it had become the world’s most generously stocked botanic garden. These days Chelsea Physic Garden remains a very unique place and one of the world’s most famous botanical attractions.
The word ‘physic’ is used in the title to refer to the practice of growing medicinal plants to aid healing, an emphasis still in place today. Chelsea Physic Garden holds around 5,000 plant species, including many rare and endangered species. The unique microclimate of the garden allows species that would not normally flourish in Britain to be grown here, including plants normally found in the Mediterranean region.
Highlights for children
The highlights of Chelsea Physic Garden include the UK’s largest fruit-bearing olive tree and the world’s most northern-located grapefruit tree. The garden is used as an aesthetically-rich place of rest and relaxation, a vital resource for the exploration of plants‘ medicinal qualities, and a general exhibition of the delights of botanical life.