Amy holds sweet cicely (left) and hemlock (right) Queenie grapfruit Cork trees – and corks Handkerchief tree Sir Hans Sloane Gate – and Green Man, it seems Place tag My Sancerre Detail of Unilever House As I walked back to Bloomsbury
Early on Thursday evening, courtesy of Will Rosenzweig and his team at Physic Ventures, Amy (Birchall) and I made our way across to the Chelsea Physic Garden, by Tube and taxi. Arriving slightly early, we wandered around the paths, where we met the Curator Rosie Atkins, who very kindly took us under her wing and showed us a number of the Garden’s delights. These included the difference between sweet cicely (edible) and hemlock (potentially fatal), a test I passed because we have sweet cicely in our garden; a grapefruit tree called – I think – Queenie, with fruit, that grew from a pip; the glazed containers in which early plant-hunters shipped their finds; and a cork tree festooned with corks.
Lovely dinner with Physic team and their guests, in glorious evening weather, with occasional views of Sir Hans Sloane, the ‘patron saint’ of Physic Ventures, and of a handkerchief tree. Then, early on Friday morning, across to Unilever House with Amy and Charmian (Love), for a morning conference with the Physic team and people from a number of their partner companies. Fascinating fare. A sense of the landscape of opportunity across which Physic invest can be found here. Among the sustainability-related portfolio companies I found particularly interesting were EnergyHub, Gazelle.com and Novomer. Then back to Bloomsbury for a session with Nick Rowcliffe, Editor-in-Chief of ENDS.