21 Jul 2014
The SCI Thames and Kennet Group met on a gloriously sunny day at the Physic Gardens Chelsea for the AGM on 29 June 2014.
After the AGM which was taken over tea and cake, we joined one of the volunteer guides to learn more about the gardens. The guided tour was full with the guide battling to stop more keen stragglers tagging on the end.
We learnt about how the garden was founded in 1673 by the apothecaries and became a fabulous site for plant exchange, about how Carl Linnaeus established a simple though considered radical way of plant naming, going from eight names for each species to two.
In the 20th century the gardens were abandoned and full of dogs, happily enthusiastic volunteers have brought it back as a real treasure.
We saw the beds where plants of the same species were cultivated, beds where we could see the plants which have lead research into cures and treatments for old and modern day illnesses, also the fern house with the very special Killarney fern.
There was the oldest, biggest olive tree at the most northerly point in the country and the grapefruit tree whose fruit is used to make much sought after marmalade.
After we freely wandered in the bright sunshine we took lunch in the pavilion, which was wonderfully tasty and fresh, much recommended!
A good day was had by all.
Thames and Kennet Committee Member