The Garden at Chelsea
The National Botanic Garden of Wales makes its debut at
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2013 with “GET WELL SOON”,
an Artisan Garden, designed by Maggie Hughes and Kati Crome
Stone walls and a rill with a circular pond take their inspiration from the National Botanic Garden of Wales and. in an imaginative planting scheme, rusty oranges contrast with cream and lime green with interjecting dashes of pale blue and purple. A pebble path, designed to walk on with bare feet, stimulates reflexology pressure points for a beneficial – if not entirely comfortable! – experience.
Here’s just some the plants, and their multifarious uses, which will feature in “Get Well Soon”:
Valerian, Valeriana officinalis:
In Mediaeval times Valerian was held in such esteem that it was known as “All Heal”, a name still given it in some parts of the country.
Cats are intoxicated by the scent as are rats. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is said to have owed his irresistible powers to secreting Valerian roots about his person.
Wild Garlic, Allium ursinum:
Antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant, antiseptic and diuretic, in the last war it was widely employed to control suppurating wounds.
Freshly chopped ransom leaves added at the last minute to scrambled eggs or an omelette, give a nice twist to a deliciously simple supper.
Spignel, Meum athamanticum:
Worth a mention if only for its amusing variety of names which include Baldmoney, Bad money, Bawd money, Bearwort, Beast’s wort, Mew,
An archaic herb taken by the Pilgrims to the New World.
Medicinally, leaf and root were used in the treatment of upper respiratory catarrh, urinary infection and menstrual woes. Culpeper mentioned that the dried, ground roots could be mixed with honey to make a “licking medicine.”
The entire plant is coumarin-scented, a natural fragrance used in 90% of all perfumes, and the roots are edible and sweet, like parsnips.
Foxglove, Digitalis viridiflora:
Digitalis has been the principal drug used in the treatment of heart failure for over 200 years.
In Wales, where it is known as “fairy-folks’ fingers” the foxglove is said to be the favourite lurking-place for fairies and the path of brown and white spots on the floor of each bell are the marks of elven fingers, designed to lead the bee to nectar.
Corsican mint, Mentha requienii :
By far the smallest of the mints, forming a flat carpet of tiny bright-green leaves with an intense creme-de-menthe fragrance. Used to alleviate stomach ache and chest pain.
In a 6.1 ratio works as environmentally friendly insecticide against wasps, hornets and ants.
When strewn around a kitchen floor works wonders as a room deodoriser.
Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna:
Several species of Crataegus have both traditional and modern medicinal uses:anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, it is a good source of antioxidantphytochemicals.
In many parts of Britain, taking hawthorn flowers into the home is considered bad luck. Known in Welsh as blodau marw mam – “mum’s death flowers” – as it is thought to cause the death of your mother because of the suffocating smell of the blooms, although according to Richard Mabey its ‘wickedly exciting, musky smell makes a fine liqueur.’
Black Elder, Sambucus nigra:
Has been called ‘the medicine chest of country people’,possessing immuno-stimulant, astringent, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties, essential oils, and many other constituents.
The elder is a multi-tasking plant:Berries are used in pies and tarts, in jellies, jams, chutneys, and wine. The wood is made into fences, pegs, needles and mathematical instruments. Drovers used elder switches to keep flies off cattle and the flowers make a wonderful cordial. Even the pith has been used; by watchmakers for cleaning tools before intricate work.
And there’s so much more at “Get Well Soon”, Artisan Garden, SEW8
See you there or Gweld chi yno, as we say in Wales
For further information, please contact:
David Hardy: firstname.lastname@example.org 01558 667130 mobile: 077 36 36 55 60
Maggie Hughes: Maggie@littleacornsdesign.co.uk
Kati Crome: email@example.com