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Green Spaces Project of the Month

November 2002 - Chelsea Physic Gardens
Contact: Dawn Sanders and Michael Holland, cpged@cpgarden.demon.co.uk

Cheslea Physic Garden is a special green space, a wonderful place to walk and rest in, with healing plants laid out beautifully and, according to the time of year, many different kinds of mesmerising scents. Above all it enables ethnic groups to see for themselves the many plants from their countries of origin which have contributed to the healing arts for centuries.

On the day I visited, I learned various snippets of interesting knowledge. For instance, did you know that Zulus mainly take their medicine in the form of snuff, including a preparation made by grinding the foots and stems of lobelia (the small purple-blue edging plant so common in the borders of British gardens) as a remedy for colds.

The Chelsea Physic Garden goes beyond having a unique collection of plants - among which are plants from almost any country you can name1 Their educational services will assist people to find out how to grow them, sometimes giving you or selling you plants, and if appropriate, will assist a community group, for example, to identify a space to grow herbs and other medicinal plants, perhaps as part of a community garden or play area.

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