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Cultivating our Bishop Compton beds with a little help from Chelsea Physic Garden

Our gardening team (comprising of our head gardener Lucy Hart, our garden apprentices and a volunteer) recently visited Chelsea Physic Garden to collect materials to help expand our new Bishop Compton beds.

It was a case of history repeats itself as our garden team made a special trip last week (on Friday June 7) to London’s oldest botanical garden to meet with Chelsea Physic Garden head gardener Nell Jones. The team were there to pick up propagation material in the form of cuttings, from plants similar to what would have been donated by Chelsea Physic Garden to Fulham Palace nearly 300 years ago. The significance of the event cannot be understated as Chelsea Physic Garden and Fulham Palace are in fact the oldest two botanical gardens in the whole of London.

Bishop Compton, who was Bishop of London between 1675 and 1713 would have also be in close contact with Chelsea Physic Garden, which started in 1673 and was an apothecary garden. Compton would have relished any new species material he could get to add to his ever expanding collection of exotics growing at Fulham Palace at the time.

The plants will be shortly be added to our new Bishop Compton beds, which have been created just outside our walled garden, as part of our recent £3.8 million National Lottery Heritage Funded restoration. We are very grateful to Chelsea Physic Garden head gardener Nell Jones for the wonderful tour and the plant material.

Two people in waterproof coats smile sidely at the camera, pointing at a bush that they are standing in front of
Lucy Hart (Fulham Palace head gardener) meets Nell Jones (Chelsea Physic Garden Head Gardener)
three people smile at the camera, they are holding a sprig of plant and a pair of secateurs
The Fulham Palace apprentice gardening team