Press Release – Weed or Medicinal Herb?

Would you know if the uninvited plants in your garden are weeds or medicinal herbs? The earliest training of physicians right up to the 19th century was based on plant knowledge, and the botanical or physic gardens attached to universities and colleges were the main plank of medical education. Many gardens still exist with the same purpose; this year the Royal College of Physicians at Regents Park celebrates its 500th anniversary, and the 400th anniversary of the Pharmacopoea Londinensis, with the publication of The Illustrated College Herbal. The Herbal is illustrated partly with 16th century woodcuts and partly with coloured illustrations by living artists, showing at the Royal College of Physicians, 20th – 30th August.

Sally Pinhey, from Weymouth, is one such artist who responded to the invitation and painted Restharrow (Ononis repens), and Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), finding specimens of both near the town. Sally teaches Botanical Illustration at Kingston Maurward College where fine botanical specimens are at hand, plus the facilities in the horticulture department give the illustration students access to microscopes for detail work.

Nine linked workshops run from October throughout the year and the four day weekend course 17th – 20th August is more like a holiday! Come along to Kingston Maurward’s Open Day & Food Fair on Sunday 24th June where visitors can see Sally’s work and discuss joining her art courses this summer; entrance to the Open Day is free and takes place 10am – 5pm.

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