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Hospitalfield Physic Garden Opening

24 June 2023, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hospitalfield Teapot

It takes seven years to make a garden and each year we return to part of the original Nigel Dunnett design to focus on an aspect of the planting.

This year we are focused on the Physic Garden which tells the story of monastic herbal and medicinal garden.

This spring we have been working with herbalist Terrill Dobson MNIMH and community gardener Carley Wootton, with the Hospitalfield Garden Club, to bring the story alive and add new planting.

The Physic Garden at Hospitalfield tells the story of the monastic herb gardening through three key themes:

The Doctrine of Signatures, a thirteenth century theory which posits that the medicinal functions of plants are reflected in their resemblance to the body parts and the conditions which they treat.

Roots, Shoots and Flowers: Natural Dyes, a theme which explores the colourful range of dyes which can be derived from different parts of the whole plant.

The Sensory Garden, a theme which excites the sense of smell, taste and touch in our garden’s visitors.

Dobson and Wootton have worked to research, design and plant this garden, adding to Nigel Dunnet’s original design traditional monastic herbs which best exemplify these three themes.

The garden has been in the making since January 2023 and will be opened officially on 24 June 2023.

Images by Rebecca Swindell. rebeccaswindell art


11:00-12:00 HOUSE TOUR, £10, Buy your ticket to attend here

Hosted by Volunteer Tour Guide Carolyn and with an emphasis on the Physic Garden. Visitors will have the opportunity to see Hospitalfield’s small herbarium and 18th century gardener’s almanac during the Tour.

Hosted by Terrill Dobson MNIMH & Carley Wootton. An opportunity to gather together to celebrate the launch of the Physic Garden with herbal tonic.

Terrill and Carley will discuss the history of the garden at Hospitalfield as well as it’s contemporary design and the herbal influences highlighting herbal history, how herbs work, doctrine of signatures, taste & smell and safety while exploring what herbs are in the garden

12:40-14:00 Break for Lunch, Please book a table here if you would like to eat in the Garden Cafe.

14:00-15:30 TEA TASTING & TEA MAKING Sign up here

Led by herbalist Terrill Dobson MNIMH, assisted by community gardener Carley Wootton.

TEA TASTING Of Terrill’s ‘Happy Tea’ blend featuring herbs growing in the Physic Garden. Visitors will have an opportunity to taste each herb separately and discuss smells, tastes and actions of the herbs in isolation as well as part of the whole blend. The workshop will include a discussion of herb safety.

TEA MAKING Visitors have an opportunity to make their own blend, mixing different ratios of rose, lavender, chamomile and limeflower. They can create this mix and put their customised teas into tea bags with labels featuring fun facts and little historical tidbits of information about herbalism, Hospitalfield, monastic herb gardening, etc…

14:00-15:30 FERNERY & GARDEN TOUR Led by Moira from our volunteer garden club


24 June 2023
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Hospitalfield House
Arbroath, DD11 2NH
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