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There’s so much more history to learn and things to see here, plus a fascinating range of walks, talks and workshops for adults and family activities days for children, and our popular evening Supper Talks. Visitors and members can also avail of free guided tours daily.
The ideal Thames location is no accident, as back in 1673 the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries chose their Chelsea Village site for its proximity to the river, making the most of the warm air currents. It gave the Apothecaries a base to moor their barge, allowing them to conduct plant-finding expeditions in surrounding areas and to teach their apprentices to identify plants, those that might cure and those that might kill! River access allowed plants arriving from around the world to be introduced to the British Isles, allowing the Garden to make a big impact from early on. Its international reputation was established quickly as a result of the global seed-exchange scheme, known as Index Seminum, initiated in the 1700s and continuing to this day.