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Activity / challenge

Palace plants and February flowers challenge

Family exploring the garden
Holly and Rudy

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Holly and Rudy, our Junior Wardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, enjoy exploring the outdoors. They are very excited because they now have the Physic Garden to explore, as well as the Palace gardens.

Do you enjoy exploring the outdoors? If so, why not try one of Holly and Rudy’s nature challenges inspired by the history, plants and wildlife in the Physic Garden at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

bundles of herbs drying on the steps of Abbey Strand

Harvested herbs and plants drying on the steps of Abbey Strand ©

Challenge one

The Physic Garden opened to visitors in 2020, but there have been special gardens in the grounds of the Palace for much longer.

More than 350 years ago a garden was planted at the Palace, to help people learn about plants that could be used in medicine. The word ‘physic’ means medicine.

Can you guess which flower, fruit or herb was used to help with the following problems?

Sunburn, stings and insect bites
Clue: I’m a summer fruit that tastes good with cream.
What am I?


Diarrhoea
Clue: I am a beautiful flower, traditionally thought of as a symbol of love.
What am I?


Stomach pain and sickness
Clue: I am a plant with green leaves, and I taste like toothpaste.
What am I?

 

Remember – these medicines were used hundreds of years ago. Please don’t try using them yourself!

Find out if you were right at the bottom of the page.

nature crown

Nature crown ©

Challenge two

When exploring the Physic Garden, Holly and Rudy love to look at all the plants and see how they are growing. Sometimes they use items from nature to get creative. You could explore your garden or take a walk to your local park and have a go at one of these activities.

 

Have a go

Make a nature crown

Pressed plants

Lavender with bee

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Challenge three

Holly and Rudy spot lots of wildlife in the Physic Garden.

Why not take a walk to your local park or explore your garden and think about what you see and hear around you.

Can you see insects on the plants? Maybe there are some birds around. You might not be able to see them but perhaps you can hear them? What other noises can you hear? What can you smell?

You might want to record what you can see, hear and smell. Use the resources below to help! The diary page can be used to help you remember what you discover, or you might want to tell other about your discoveries using the newspaper template.

Have a go

Newspaper

Well Done!

Once you have completed the challenges ask a parent or carer to email [email protected] and we will send you a special certificate.

Challenge one answers

Sunburn, stings and insect bites

I’m a summer fruit that tastes good with cream

What am I? STRAWBERRY

Diarrhoea

I am a beautiful flower, traditionally thought of as a symbol of love

What am I? ROSE

Stomach pain and sickness

I am a plant with green leaves, I taste like toothpaste

What am I? MINT