Welcome to Poison Garden, the most poisonous garden on the planet: any plant in it can kill you, It is hard to believe how early humans unknowingly sacrificed themselves in the prehistoric quest to find out which plants were safe to eat, which were suitable for healing, and which would maim or they would kill whoever touched them. Now, the vast majority of us rely on experts to make these distinctions for us. Unless we are trained in this field, it is quite certain that none of us would have the slightest idea of avoiding a poisoning from nature.
However, this does not have to worry us too much in a visit to the garden that we are going to talk about next. Located on the grounds of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland , England, it is one of the most beautiful attractions from the north of the country, where hundreds of colorful plants invite visitors to stroll through rows of fragrant roses, manicured topiaries and cascading fountains. But within the limits of Alnwick, behind some black iron gates, there is a place where visitors are explicitly told not to stop to smell the flowers.
It is Poison Garden , home of 100 ruthless killers.
In this garden, you can admire the plants with l your eyes, but you cannot touch or smell anything , because all the plants in the garden are poisonous and could possibly kill you. The history and origins of such an attraction are just as fascinating as what is housed inside.
In 1995 , Jane Percy became Duchess of Northumberland, this northern county that stretches to the fro ntera with Scotland, after her husband’s brother died unexpectedly. With the title came Alnwick Castle, the traditional seat of the Duke of Northumberland (and which also served as the setting for Hogwarts in the first two films of Harry Potter). After the family moved into the castle, Percy’s husband asked him to do something with the gardens, which at the time were a disused commercial forestry with nothing but rows of Christmas trees.
“She must have thought: ‘That will keep her quiet, she will plant some roses and that will be it,'” said the Duchess. But Percy did more than plant some roses. On 1996, hired Jacques Wirtz, a landscape architect who has worked with the Tuileries in Paris and the gardens of the residence of the French president, to help reimagine Alnwick’s garden. Actually, wanted something that would differentiate his project from the other gardens that dot the English countryside. “If you’re building something, especially a visitor attraction, it must be something really unique,” she said.
The Duchess thought she might want to include an apothecary garden, but a trip to Italy put her on a slightly different tack. After visiting the infamous Medici poison garden , the Duchess was captivated by the idea of create a garden of plants that could kill rather than cure. Another trip, this one to the archaeological site of the largest hospital in medieval Scotland, where the Duchess learned about the soporific sponges soaked in henbane, opium, and hemlock used to anesthetize amputees during 15th-century surgeries, reinforced her interest. in creating a garden of lethal plants.
“This is a way to interest children. They don’t care that the aspirin comes from the bark of a tree. What is really interesting is knowing how a plant kills you, how the patient dies and how you feel before dying “, he said. So the duchess dedicated herself to collecting poisonous plants for his imagined Poison Garden. While selecting the 100 varieties that would end up taking root there, He only asked for one requirement for each new acquisition: the plants had to tell a good story. This meant that exotic killers like Brugmansia from South America would be mixed with more common poisons, like bay hedges.
The laurel, from which you can get cyanide, be careful with using leaves out of date. They also have some plants that are used as a base for anti-anxiety medications. pic.twitter.com/pEgZ7ioFWp
— Nordic Scrap ♦ ️ ♦ ️⚰️⚰️ (@chatarreranordi) October 27, 2021 The extraordinary thing about plants is that they are the most common that people do not know are killers . Visitors are often surprised to learn that the bay hedge, almost ubiquitous in English gardens, can be highly toxic. But some visitors have had experiences with the sinister side of the laurel. After loading their cars with pruned bay leaves to take them to the dump, some drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel due to the toxic gases that the branches emit. Also a few years ago, seven people passed out from inhaling these gases while walking through the garden.
There is more of 100 plants in Poison Garden, and they are all poisonous. The garden contains very dangerous plants like hemlock; foxglove; Atropa belladonna ; and strychnos nux-vomica , which is where strychnine comes from. There is also the plant Rincinus communis , which gives us castor oil, but also gives us ricin, which is a poison. The laurel, which also lives in the garden, is a beautiful plant that produces cyanide . Although, hogweed may seem like the most unpleasant plant of the whole. Touching it triggers a phototoxic reaction and burns the skin. The blisters caused by the reaction can last up to seven years. The head gardener, Trever Jones , even has to move around the garden with a face shield, gloves and an airtight suit.
The garden also has a trap. Contains many killers that actually look like beautiful flowers , like trees from Laburnum, which have stunning yellow flowers, as well as deadly seeds . Aconitum is another deceptively deadly plant. It has pretty blue flowers and poisonous berries. The leaves, roots and stems can kill you too.
The fact that the Poison Garden is full of poison doesn’t literally stop people from queuing up to visit it. About 800. 000 people visit the garden every year . As part of the educational mission, the Duchess grows a variety of drugs, from cannabis to cocaine, which she and the garden guides use as a starting point for drug education. “It is a way of educating children without them realizing that they are being educated,” he says.
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