The Physic Garden
Plant of the Week
Verbena Bonariensis has several medicinal uses including for sore throats, respiratory tract diseases such as asthma and whooping cough. It’s also a great late summer plant.
The Physic Garden began life as a Community Garden cared for by the Friends of Saughton Park growing fruit and vegetables in two large raised beds. As part of the park restoration, we were asked to recreate that area as a physic garden and we jumped at the chance.
The landscape architects working on the master plan for the overall park designed 17 raised beds and we were given the opportunity to design both the approach and the planting scheme.
We are also responsible for resourcing and maintaining the plants. This has been a chance for us all to learn about the plants, what thrives and grows well together and by learning we can then change the plants if and when we need to.
We've been lucky enough to have plants donated, some have been grown by the volunteers and those we bought we have tried to source from Scotland (where possible).
As the point of the physic garden is growing plants for medicinal use, we will be harvesting leaves, berries and any other useful parts of the plants. We hope to demonstrate their uses in health and healing by holding practical hands-on events as well as sharing information on the plants and their uses.
The central beds have been designed around parts of the body and plants chosen which are beneficial for that area, or ailments or diseases affecting it e.g. the heart bed contains foxgloves, one of its key components is digitalis; the oncology bed contains snowdrops whose active component is galanthamine used in anti-cancer treatments.