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Urban Physic Garden

Temporary healing garden draws on Bankside's medicinal and botanical history
Valerie Beirne
Bankside Urban Forest Manager
  • The herbarium in the Urban Physic Garden 2011
    The herbarium in the Urban Physic Garden 2011
  • The entrance to the Urban Physic Garden 2011
    The entrance to the Urban Physic Garden 2011
  • The vacant site where the Urban Physic Garden was located
    The vacant site where the Urban Physic Garden was located
  • A call out to volunteers to help build the Urban Physic Garden 201
    A call out to volunteers to help build the Urban Physic Garden 2011
Timescale: 
May 2011
September 2011
Key Partners: 
Wayward Plant Registry; Lake Estates; Better Bankside
Key Outcome: 
Temporary community garden on disused land. Volunteer opportunities to build and maintain green space and planting.

During the summer of 2011, the site at 110 Union Street was transformed again by nearly 200 volunteers, who with Wayward Plants transformed a vacant development site into a pop-up garden inspired by the hospital and pharmacy, with a focus on medicinal plants and herbs that heal. The first iteration of the garden was open in the Summer of 2011.

Over the summer months the garden was host to a wide range of activities, workshops and events which highlighted the importance of plants to the medicine. At the end of the summerthousands of plants were distributed to community spaces in the local area.

Following the dismantling of the Urban Physic Garden, part of it was exhibited in the Forgotten Spaces exhibition at Somerset House. This smaller exhibit has since toured Asia with the British Council, highlighting the role and value that temporary and creative projects like the Urban Physic Garden can play in our urban environments.

Oct 5 2011