Planning A Poison Garden

“Behind the walls of my apothecary garden are other rare and even more dangerous plants. Many I acquired without fully understanding their uses – perhaps I found a name mentioned in some obscure, ancient medical text, or came upon an old cure related by a beggar who claimed to have heard it from an ancient witch woman he met once. Based upon such vague hints and clues, and often following nothing more than my own blind instincts, I have bought and traded plants from all over the world. The most powerful ones live behind that locked gate.”

from “The Poison Diaries” by Jane Northumberland

Garden Gate at

Garden Gate at Alnwick Castle

The author is married to the twelfth Duke of Northumberland and is mistress of Alnwick Castle. The earls and dukes of Northumberland have lived in Alnwick Castle for seven hundred years. The Duchess has spent years creating beautiful public gardens in the grounds of the castle and, because of her fascination with and knowledge of poisons, has created the world-famous Poison Garden. Alnwick Castle and the Alnwick Garden are the most popular tourist destinations in the north of England, attracting more than 800,000 visitors each year.

Here are some little beauties or terrors (you decide) you can put in you own little slice of heaven! Lovingly researched by Max. See you at the tea!

Foxglove with its pretty little cups. Don't drink!

Foxglove with its pretty little cups. Don’t drink!

Castor - Patti be harboring this handsome devil in her garden.

Castor – Patti be harboring this handsome devil in her garden.

Doll's Eyes - Evil little peepers.

Doll’s Eyes – Evil little peepers.

Water Hemlock, a.k.a Poison Parsnip - Perfect for the veggie patch.

Water Hemlock, a.k.a Poison Parsnip – Perfect for the veggie patch.

Wolfsbane/Monkshood - Keeping the dogs at bay.

Wolfsbane/Monkshood – Keeping the dogs at bay.

Lily Of The Valley - Say it isn't so!

Lily Of The Valley – Say it isn’t so!

Nightshade or Belladonna has done in many a King.

Nightshade or Belladonna has done in many a King.

Belladonna Berry - Pretty lady indeed!

Belladonna Berry – Pretty lady indeed!

Mistletoe - Not just for Christmas.

Mistletoe – Not just for Christmas.

Death Cap Mushroom - Aren't they all?

Death Cap Mushroom – Aren’t they all?

 

“I will show you a love potion without drug or herb, or any witch’s spell;

if you wish to be loved, love”.

– Charles Lindbergh

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Planning A Poison Garden

  1. I’ve never heard of the Alnwick Castle gardens, but I’d love to see them! Thanks for the very cool poison plant info, Max. I had no idea that Lily of the Valley was toxic. If only I could get my woodchuck to eat it – he eats almost everything else!

  2. A thousand years ago , or so it seems, I went to this garden I think. It was so interesting and she had signs saying what parts were poisonous. I went home to find deadly nightshade growing up the back fence – very common – and wild foxgloves. I pulled out the nightshade but left the foxgloves.
    Love the comments , Max!

  3. this was a fascinating article! I do have the deadly castor bean in my garden…was hoping the chipmunks would eat the seeds…but since they didn’t I have seeds available if you would like to plant your own! And, no Max, it would not be good to use in an herbal wreath…

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