Physic-al Beauties19th April 2014 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
The Chelsea Physic Garden is looking glorious right now and visiting on a day of cloudless sunshine confirmed – yet again – what an amazing place this is. And it is getting better and better – in the past it was little used and was a rather worthy place where botanists could see interesting plants, but the layout and planting (like many botanical gardens) was rather tired and uninspiring. The new hard landscaping of both the Edible Plants and Medicinal Plants area combine good design with general and botanical interest and show that a place of study can be a place of beauty too . This week it was busy, but not crowded, with people wandering around, sitting on the grass, joining one of the guided walks or eating delicious food in the Tangerine Dream Café. Amongst the star performers in the garden was the Davidia involucrata, commonly known as the Pocket Handkerchief tree, in full handkerchief (this won’t last long, so get there quickly if you want to see it at its perfect best), the Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) in pink perfection against the blue sky and an Azara that was cascading with yellow pompom flowers.
And this is how the Physic Garden looks in July.