Do you know what a physic garden is? I have to admit that until I attended design school at the Chelsea Physic Garden, I had no idea what the term meant either. So in case you don’t know, a physic garden is a special kind of herb garden whose purpose is to grow medicinal plants.
The first known physic garden was started by Matthaeus Silvaticus in Salerno, Italy in the 1300′s and many more followed as the main suppliers of medical apothecaries. With the use of modern medicine and the loss of a collective knowledge of the healing and medicinal powers of plants, it is rare to see a new Physic Garden so that is why the Urban Physic Garden is particularly exciting.
The Urban Physic Garden, which in its original home was a pop-up space in Southwark, London, is currently a travelling exhibit that is making its way through Asia (anyone want to help me see if we can bring it to the states?).
The Garden, which hosts a variety exhibits, a cafe, and lots of related arts and science events, is organized into wards – just like a hospital so you can learn about plants as related to their medical application.
The most clever part is that the kitchen for the cafe is in a converted ambulance and it is called the Rambulance Cafe (get it, rambling and abulance cafe….cute right?).
(click on the images above for a bigger version where you can read more about some of these elixirs)
I have made cocktails with mint and other herbs but despite a few lessons from a friend who is very good with this sort of thing…I don’t think to head outside or garden my way out of a headache. I think this is a lost knowledge that we need to regain for the benefit of better understanding our world and how to make sure that our pharmaceutical companies are serving us well.
I’m curious if you use any plants from your garden to treat ailments? And If you do use plants medicinally, I would love to hear your remedies and methods.
images from Urban Physic Garden
Are you looking around your garden wondering where you might be able to make a little extra space for a veggie patch? Perhaps you might take a little inspiration from Nancy Steiner who transformed her driveway into a garden that feeds her family.
When Nancy and landscape designer Leslie Needham realized that this was the place that got 8 hours of sun a day and it was easily accessible for picking as the family arrived home at the end of the day and headed into the house, — the decision to transform the driveway into a garden was obvious.
Using a variety of space saving options (like growing cucumbers up on tuteurs and putting every spare inch to work) they were able to create a garden that feeds her whole family – 2 adults and 5 teenagers!
I so wish I could share the before of this….but I think we can all imagine a car parked here an agree that this is much much better.
This story appears in this month’s issue of Martha Stewart Magazine where you can find more ideas and information about some of the products that can help you create this same look.
Photos by Juliana Sohn. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2013. For more gardening ideas, visit www.marthastewart.com.
I had a belated mothers day well wishing call with my mom yesterday. We missed each other on Sunday. She really enjoyed one of the gifts that I sent to her….which was a copy of Deborah Madison’s new cookbook Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom. I have a copy for myself and love how it was organized (by plant kingdom) so I shared.
My mom particularly mentioned how excited she was to see recipes for shishito peppers in the book. Have you heard of them? Seems that these tasty pepper treats are quite trendy in Denver. I also saw a story about their popularity the restaurants of Dallas. But they haven’t made their way east to DC (where my mom searched for them when she last visited my sister) and they certainly are still unheard of here in the New England culinary hinterlands. Mom found some starts at Tigawa Gardens last year but hasn’t had any luck this year. (if you have seen them in the Colorado Springs or Denver Metro area let us know — she is on the prowl)
Regional scarcity and promised tastiness is just the impetus I need for planting something new! Seeds can be found at Kitazawa seed Company if you care to join in the experiment. There is still time if you act quickly to get these going for this year.
My mom says that these sweet peppers are perfect when grilled and tossed with a little salt and oil just like this recipe at Spoon Fork Bacon. Sounds perfect after a long day in the dirt…washed down with a cold beer.
image Spoon Fork Bacon
I am so grateful for this handy visual guide to greens that can be foraged in the early spring (or at least as soon as the snow melts!). The collection is part of a foraging story in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living. Tama Matsuoka Wong (co-author of the lovely book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market) is featured in the issue for her guidance on foraging for simple foods that are widely available. It is a sweet story that highlights Tama’s journey from international lawyer in Hong Kong to teaching kids how to forage for food in rural Connecticut. And it includes some lovely recipes – including how to make mugwort soup.
It is a recipe that I am eager to try — and I am fairly sure that it’s green qualities will be overlooked when I tell my kids it something that Harry Potter eats from his garden. If you are interested in making it yourself, get your hands on a copy of the magazine. (It is the pretty one with the cherry blossoms, fritillaria and tulip on the front) - Rochelle
images from Martha Stewart.
This is a special Valentines edition of our Thursday garden makeovers. Its pretty flowers and charming white walls are so valentines cheery. But mostly I picked it because of this – this is Rebecca & Staffan’s wedding picture — right there in the under construction garden next to the concrete mixer. Making a garden together (and a pretty fantastic one at that) — what could be more romantic on this day for sweethearts?
This axonometric drawing of the garden helps to understand what they were dealing with — a giant hill that was previously a dumping ground (so full of trash) that they proceeded to clean and terrace into an extraordinary series of terraces for various purposes.
Rebecca and Steffan’s garden is in the swedish countryside. In the summer of 2008 they started building this garden and have – with the exception of hiring an excavator to carve out the 6 terraces – done everything themselves by hand. A true labor of love.
That this garden looks as established as it does even though it is only a few years old is extraordinary to me. It also has me thinking that building walls from breeze blocks, rendered and painted isn’t such a bad idea for such a harsh climate – and it is a skill I am inspired to learn to do.
Happy Valentines Day! — I hope you enjoy this tour through Rebecca & Staffan’s garden. Make sure to take a visit over to their blog to see many more images and read more about their garden .
images from garden with view
Today’s daily garden was designed by Secret Gardens of Sydney, Australia. This garden is just beautiful and truly a showpiece for keeping it simple and making the most of a small town garden. The herb pot surrounding the BBQ is my favorite part, but here are some other views of this great design.
Holiday 2012 Archive Dive — Here is another Rhubarb Cocktail idea…this one seems very festive!
I am late in posting because I am still coming off the exhaustion and fun of this weekend. I joined one of my dearest oldest friends in NYC for 2 nights, where we shopped until we dropped. Wedding dresses and little girls dresses were the main object of our desire, but we found a few other treasures too.
This time of year when you go away for even a couple of days it is to be expected that when you come home to your garden you might find something completely new. To my delight I have two quite robust clumps of rhubarb popping up and I immediately started lusting after my favorite rhubarb crisp.
But I had a thought that perhaps I ought to broaden my rhubarb horizon….what else can I make with rhubarb (that I like)? — I have tried making sauce (not a favorite) , muffins (blech), jelly (ok, but just ok), cake (I actually quite like this, but can only eat it once a season before tiring of it), tart — also good but a bit much sometimes…..so I went searching for other options when I found Things We Make‘s recipe for rhubarb-tini. As soon as these stalks are ready harvest, I will be pouring myself a crisp delicious rhubarb-tini.
Full recipe at Things We Make.
Image from Things We Make.