You must have visited flower gardens, herbs gardens. But have you visited a poison garden? It is unusual or rather crazy to plant poisons in a garden, isn’t it? Well, that was certainly not in the mind of Jane Percy, the duchess of Northumberland. The poison garden is her brainchild.
Where is poison garden?
Poison garden is located inside the Alnwick Garden which is adjacent to Alnwick castle in Northumberland, England. Harry Potter was filmed in Alnwick castle. When Jane Percy became the duchess of Northumberland, she started redeveloping her garden. Her garden is one of the most attractive gardens in North England. Among all the beautiful blossoms and trees, there is a place locked behind a black gate with a white skull image on it. It says “These plants can kill”.
The poison garden was added in 2005. It contains plants from all over the world. Only a limited number of people are allowed to enter the garden since obviously the poisonous plants can kill you. You are not allowed to touch nor smell the plants. Although it may sound over dramatic, in reality some people faint while just walking inside the garden. The toxins can become airborne. The gardeners wear full personal protective equipment when tending to these plants.
Some plants in the garden
Inside the deadliest garden in the world – the Alnwick poison garden has got over 100 different varieties of plants. Some plants like laurel hedge is easy to find in England countryside. But many people don’t know that it is poisonous. In fact, its pruned branches can emit poisonous fumes.
Some plants can be quite exotic. For an example, Brugmansia (Angels trumpet) from south america is poisonous from roots to seeds. It has hallucinogenic effects meaning it can detach you from reality and make you see things. It is a well known aphrodisiac. Ladies in Victorian era used to keep its flowers on tables and add few pollen to their tea. But if you add too much, you can have totally unexpected results. Psychiatry and clinical neuroscience book states that after drinking 1 cup of brugmansia tea, one man cut off his own penis and tongue.
The poison garden can be entertaining as well as educative. So if you take a trip to North England, don’t forget to visit this most exquisite garden you will ever see in your life.