The Chelsea Physic Garden has a long and rich history interlaced with the national and international development of medicine, plant collecting, botany, horticulture and agriculture. Its many changing roles have been accommodated on a site of less than 2ha which retains the underlying layout of the early eighteenth century. It was the site of the first English greenhouse and the first rockery. Major pharmaceutical plants have been grown there for centuries. In the eighteenth century it was the clearing house for many plant introductions.
The focus has always been on understanding the use and cultivation of individual plants, but it is a very attractive garden within a crowded urban area in which the mild climate supports plants like olive and pomegranate.
Many of the leading figures of botany, horticulture and botanical art of the past 300 years are associated with it, and its head gardeners, demonstrators and praefecti produced some of the key text books and floras of their time.
acta prepared a statement of significance and analysis of heritage constraints to support a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a major restructuring of the garden and the provision of up-to-date education and interpretation facilities