Mud to Medicine

A project to transform a strip of canal side land in Nelson, Lancashire into the UK’s first Physic Garden created by and dedicated to women.

Landscape image of a plain canal side garden with a grey narrow boat in the background.

In 2018 through a crowd funding campaign that attracted support from over 300 people Idle Women and Humraaz Support Services purchased a canal side garden in Nelson, Lancashire.

Over seven years the garden will be transformed into a garden abundant with medicinal plants that women have used for centuries, from menstruation to pregnancy and childbirth, and beyond to menopause and old age.

The garden will be planned, designed and developed with and by local women in collaboration with female experts in herbalism, garden design, women’s health and horticulture. Throughout this process women will learn practical skills including architectural landscaping, building (an outdoor classroom and compost toilet) and gardening, as well as participate in seasonal workshops on natural health using herbs for culinary and medicinal purposes.
​The garden we create will  be a powerful, peaceful retreat dedicated to all women.

Between 2018-2020 women are getting involved in the process of observing plants, the landscape and their own health in order to co-create a protocol of knowledge that will inform the design and selection of planting in the garden. The project will develop a sustainable resource that will support and enable women for many years to come.

The Medicine Nursery is a sister site in Accrington where women can learn the art of growing medicinal plants to populate the Physic Garden as well as how to harvest and process plants to create natural remedies and products.

Over the coming autumn and winter women can get involved in garden design, landscaping and construction process.