The Garden

A physic (pronounced ‘fizz-ic’) garden is a garden where each plant growing has the power to heal as a medicine or to keep you healthy.

Grounded in the science of how each plant works, the garden has been created to educate on the medicinal and therapeutic uses of plants. 

Plants, herbs and trees with properties for health and medicine grow in abundant quantities. Visitors of all ages can learn more about plant medicine through our information signboards, tours and trails. Which provide not only the traditional and modern plant medicine use, but also the science and active ingredients, as well as the folklore and magic that bring each plant to life!

This physic garden features plants that enhance our mind, with special collections of science-backed plants to improve memory, mood, sleep and more.

Our Story

The garden was created 25 years ago on former pastureland on the south bank of the Tyne Valley nestled above the flowing Dyvel’s Water. It is the inspired creation of the curator and prominent UK neuroscientist Professor emeritus Elaine Perry.

The Physic Garden team’s pioneering scientific research showed that traditional plant medicines, like European sage improve memory, focus and attention. To take part in our clinical studies into safe plant medicine for enhancing the mind, email

Did You Know

50% of mainstream medical drugs over the past 30 years have come from plants. Aspirin is derived from white willow bark, pain-relieving morphine from the opium poppy, the memory supporting Alzheimer’s drug galantamine from snowsdrop and daffodil bulbs and the anticancer drug taxol from yew. Whole plant medicine contains more than one active chemical that work together to have their effect, often producing few if any side-effects. Plant medicine is used by over 80% of the world today to treat common ailments. In the UK, National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) trained medical herbalists are trained just like GPs to treat many common conditions.

Whole plant medicines are used today to effectively treat everything from anxiety and insomnia to IBS and skin conditions. At the physic garden beside each plant find its traditional use in plant medicine, its science such as lab tests (in vitro = ‘test tube’; in vivo = lab model), clinical trials, active chemicals & medical drugs that come from the plant; find also the all-important folklore that bring each plant to life! Though some plants are toxic (so identifying your plant is crucial), some are also foodstuffs, acting as preventative medicine maintaining and boosting your health to help prevent disease – a vital reason for our five-a-day to include a medicinal herb or two!


The Chamomile Lawn invites visitors to walk on it and release its heavenly smell which acts as a mild sedative and a tranquilliser.

A Culinary Zone contains numerous herbs, together with vegetables and cereals that have medicinal as well as nutritional properties.

A Stone Wall area has wild wallflower (Cheranthus cheiri), wall germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), stone crop (sedum), and iris or flag (Iris pseudacorus).

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