Chelsea Physic Garden review
Have you ever been to a garden that can kill you? The first thing that you see when you step through the front door is a sign which says "Some of these plants are highly poisonous -- Do not touch!" But here's the worrying thing: a lot of the vines and creepers are overhanging the path so it's pretty scary -- I kept my hands in my pockets the whole time just in case. I don't want to get killed by a flower -- that is not the way that I want to die. I am sure they're just being careful though — surely they can't really be dangerous?
The Chelsea Physic Garden is only a tiny little patch of land but they've managed to pack a lot of plants inside the old brick walls. It's all about the ones we use for food and medicines, rather than the ones we place in a vase — so don't go expecting much colour. You're not going to find a load of pretty flowers like at Wisley and Kew. It's mainly green things like herbs and vegetables.
It's still very pretty though. They've got a lot of rockeries and slate walls, and gravel paths and ponds. There are quite a few ramshackle greenhouses to have a nose around too, plus a butterfly garden (I didn't see any butterflies).Try and imagine a grandmother's garden, if she lived in the woods... the kind of place you'd potter around in when you're eighty, feeding the frogs and robins.
They've got a pretty little bamboo garden and some pr|ckly cacti too (another plant that is dangerous). And you can learn about medicines and perfumes and vitamins and dyes. There are plenty of foodstuffs too, like apricots and tomatoes, wild chillies, beetroots and parsnips. It's like a big greengrocers I suppose: they've got lettuce and peas and carrots and raspberries... if you bring two slices of bread along then you could probably make yourself a decent dinner (but don't eat the poisonous ones though, for chrissakes — I don't want you to die).
It's a perfectly pleasant place to walk around, but it's definitely one for the adults — adults with white hair and creaking knees. The kind of place that you can come on a Sunday afternoon for a lazy stroll and a sit down, followed by a slice of cake and a cup of tea in the cafe.
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