Reopened in 2007, the Medicinal Garden primarily displays plants with an established history of use by man in fields beyond the use solely as garden plants. Hence we have plants broadly categorised into medicinal plants, culinary herbs, stimulants etc.
The potential of the plant kingdom to provide us with cures for many of the worst diseases known to man is being realised. Much effort is being put into the study of ethnobotany (the use of plants by man). The destruction of vegetation seriously threatens the discovery of potential drugs to the loss of plant species. Time is running out and action is needed to prevent the further loss of our most valuable resource plants.
The Garden has been designed to require minimal watering in recognition of climate change; fortunately the plants that are grown here prefer dry conditions. Among these have been interplanted more garden worthy cultivars to show the variety of development that has been made by man through years of cultivation. The south-facing bank hosts a collection of lavenders. The large decked area serves as a suitable seating area with views over the palm garden or as a muster point for visiting groups. The garden is developed in partnership with several organisations and one private benefactor.
The lower section of the terrace has a very large fig tree that is a remnant from the days of the hospital. The variety of the fig is ‘Brown Turkey’ and from time to time a good crop is set. This tree is more than 100 years old.