The Urban Physic Garden

Urban Physic Garden - © Mike Massaro
Urban Physic Garden – © Mike Massaro

The Union Street Urban Orchard is created by The Architecture Foundation, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, ProjectARKs and the Wayward Plant Registry. This summer they will transform a derelict site, 100 Union Street-Southwark-London, into the Urban Physic Garden, a pop-up community built garden celebrating medicinal plants.

The Urban Physic Garden will be shaped by the hospital and the pharmacy, with a focus on medicinal plants and herbs. From wild seeds to domestic herbs found in back gardens to exotic species gathered around the world, plants that have been used to cure all kinds of ills.

The area of Southwark around the garden has a long history as a center for caring for London’s sick and poor. The garden will serve as a case study for emerging plans to create a physic garden in one of the historic quads at the Guy’s campus of King’s College. Plans for a garden are part of proposals to develop public access to King’s Museum of Life Sciences, which is housed on the Guy’s campus. Excitement is building and the project has attracted the attention of a wide range of public figures, from the Mayor of London to south London’s foremost Guerrilla Gardener, Richard Reynolds.

Urban Physic Garden - © Mike Massaro
Urban Physic Garden – © Mike Massaro

This Summer in the Urban Physic Garden will be a festival of talks, workshops, film screenings and events exploring medicinal plants, health and well being of urban environments. The garden will provide a platform for artists, designers, gardeners and health practitioners. The garden will be host to a range of invited artists projects, including the return of Oliver Bishop-Young’s ping-pong skip and a UK premier of the play-structures designed by the Serbian collective Skart, previously shown at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. Architectural structures made from reclaimed materials will create a series of garden rooms, with plants grouped by hospital departments. A decommissioned ambulance will become the kitchen serving up surprise lunch and dinner menus, including edible herbs and flowers, to enjoy within the garden.

Calendar of events

More information can be found at .

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