Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy

Garden Visit - Petersfield Physic Garden

The Physic Garden was opened in May 1990 by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. The land had been given to the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust by the then owner, Major John Bowen, who had originally lived at No. 22 the High Street and had purchased the garden at No. 16 to be a 'Secret Garden' for his growing family. When his children had left home, Major Bowen became interested in conservation and wildflowers and wanted his garden to be used for education and enjoyment of the public. 


Entrance Sign

There is a small stand of plants for sale at the entrance to the garden which is always full of interesting plants. Proceeds go to the running of the garden. 

Plants for Sale

Past the entrance is the knot garden, paid for by the Rotary Club of Petersfield. The winning design was by Joanne Allen and her charming hand-drawn plan can be seen in the main office. 

Knot Garden plan

The knot garden itself looks like this:

Knot Garden

Past the Knot Garden there is an area of called the Topiary Walk which is lined with clipped yews and box balls. 

Topiary Walk in Summer

The Orchard lies beyond here and in early spring bulbs flower beneath apple and other fruit trees laden with mistletoe. 

Orchard in March

Fritillary in the orchard

Past the Orchard is a herb garden based on the patterns of 16th century gardens. 

Knot Garden in March

Chive Edging


The garden is surrounded by the original walls which are brick in places and flint in others.

fling walls

If you find yourself in Petersfield at any moment, try to make time to visit the Physic Garden. This small garden, tucked away between the main car park and the High Street is a tranquil spot to sit and relax and thank Major john Bowen for saving a tiny bit of his garden for all of us to enjoy.

To volunteer or to become a friend of the garden go to 

The next event to be held at the garden is the Grand Plant Sale on Saturday 10 May. 




Comments (1)

  1. elizabeth:
    Apr 09, 2014 at 04:49 PM

    lovely gardens and a lovely tour. I've always loved those purple spiky flowers but never learned their name (third photo from the bottom)

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