idle women’s physic garden will be dedicated to medicinal herbs that women have used for centuries, from menstruation to pregnancy and childbirth, and beyond to menopause and old age.
The garden will be planned, designed and developed with and by local women in collaboration with female experts in herbalism, garden design, women’s health and horticulture.
Women will be able to learn practical skills including architectural landscaping, building (for an outdoor classroom and compost toilet) and gardening, as well as participate in seasonal workshops on natural health using herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes.
The garden will also be a peaceful retreat where women can take a break from daily routines, make new friends or simply have space for reflection.
Herb illustration by Candice Purwin
film by Rachel Brewster-Wright - Little Vintage Photography
We will develop the UK's first physic garden exclusively for women, provide a permanent mooring so that we can maintain the narrow boat Selina Cooper as a valued resource for women, and support the need for women to own land!
A physic garden is a garden dedicated to 'the art of healing'
idle women's physic garden will support women to nurture a connection to plants whilst growing a personal understanding of their own health and wellbeing and enabling a greater sense of confidence, independence and health.
The archaic word 'physic' means 'art of healing', a skill more holistic than simply 'medical'.
Historically, almost all medicines came from plants, and physicians and apothecaries were familiar with identification, cultivation and harvesting. Becoming skilled as naturalists and gardeners, botany was part of medicine and plants were understood as being beneficial to human health.