North Devon Hospice opens medicinal plant garden

A new physic garden has been created at the North Devon Hospice to give nurses and patients an understanding of plants' medicinal value.

The garden was designed by Horticulture Week's Professional Gardener of the Year 2009 Colin Porter and funded by a grant from the county council.

Porter said of the garden: "It has a collection of medicinal plants, both traditional and modern. It incorporates a lot of native plants and varieties from China and India."

University of Reading professor of pharmacy Liz Williamson helped with the project. "She's a world expert on medicinal plants," Porter explained. "She has helped hugely with what we have done and she has written a booklet and supplied us with copies that we can sell for funds for the hospice."

He added: "A lot of the therapies are based on natural plant extracts and the garden will help the nurses understand them.

"When new patients come into the hospice they are able to walk through the garden and if people see the medicinal plants in front of them it will help to breakdown the barriers within people's preconceptions about what plants and ointments can do for them."

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