This post is inspired by “Nighthawks” where a silence creates a form of communication between distinct individuals who have their own culture but come together to create a new language.
Plants with medicinal properties were grown at Dilston Hall that stood near this site on the River Tyne in medieval times. In the early 16th century Anne Cartington, the heiress to the Hall, fought to ensure the future of the garden by finding a suitable marriage to Edward Radcliffe. It depended on the future prosperity of the Radcliffe family she married into whether the garden would have longevity. The Radcliffes later built outwards and expanded the Hall but the original walled Physic Garden in its grounds does not survive today. Future generations of the Northumbrian Radcliffes fell in and out of favour with the British Monarchy and the garden fell into disrepair. Thankfully a garden close to Devil’s water, on the River Tyne, near to the original Dilston Hall that Anne loved so much survives. The owner Elaine Perry deserves recognition for the inspiration the garden offers today. Dilston Physic Garden is a significant Physic Garden with a living library of 600 plant species.
The garden has a dual purpose in that it houses both medicinal plants and species used in alternative therapies. Different cultures that are known for embracing natural health remedies are celebrated in different zones marked out with specific planting styles. A tall over-arching Japanese Tori Gate acts like an anchor to the eyes, guiding the spirit around the spaces of the garden. A Buddhist statue sits boldly in the centre. The site is split onto two levels, one with a small orchard and a playful croquet lawn.
Individual cultures are valued here and this is how I feel leaving; acceptance is the best medicine. It dawns on me as I tread my own path with the bunting flying high. I experience well-being with a playful game of croquet and a bare foot walk on a tranquil camomile lawn.
No interruptions exist as I sit here undisturbed and natural fruit tea prepared from the species growing close to me is warmed through in jugs by sunlight.
The empty space between each of the exhibits is open and everyone feels free to spend their time here as they wish.
No interruptions exist as I sit there undisturbed there is natural fruit tea prepared from the species growing here and warmed through in jugs by sunlight. The presence of the camomile lawn is all embracing and thought provoking making daydreams free to just be. Time spent in the garden creates a feeling of abundance and a sense of expansion.
The space is guarded by two stone serene Buddhas either side and the time spent here could not feel any more special. For me this is reflected in the well loved camomile lawn that does so much service to a weary traveller. Fennel, sage and thyme scent the air.
I walk through the fields towards the railway station. The village close by is Corbridge and this has a wealth of history due to its proximity to Hadrian’s wall and the Scottish Border. The tourist information office found in Corbridge Library offers a superb service to allow you to make the most of the area. Walkers frequent the small central square surrounded by boutique shops.
There is much to enjoy and experience and embrace but you cannot be prepared for what is here, it is open to your own interpretation. I take home the space between the different cultures that remain independent but connect in a powerful sense.
Find more posts inspired by an image here and below