The Poison Garden

Ever wonder if the plant you've just selected at your local nursery or big box store garden center is capable of killing you or your beloved pets?  Most home owners are not aware that many of the common plants growing in their home landscapes are actually poisonous!


To bring awareness of the poison properties of plants, The Duchess of Northumberland (aka Jane Percy) started the Poison Garden on the grounds of her family's home, Alnwick Castle.  The Alnwick_Garden, located in Northeast England, was implemented in 2005 as part of  an elaborate 12-acre garden where visitors can see some of the world's most poisonous plants while learning of their deadly abilities.

Located within a high-walled garden and monitored with camera's, the entrance to the garden is secured with a locked iron gate, marked with a skull and crossbones and two warning signs that read, "These Plants Can Kill".

 Alnwick Castle

Discovered in ancient times, plant poisons were used by ancient tribes and civilizations as a hunting tool to quicken and ensure the death of their prey. With cultural advancement however, societies began forging weapons designed specifically for poison enhancements such as assassination, hence the reason for a Royal Taster during the Middle ages.

Constructive use of poisons not only continue but have increased in our modern world.  Poisons are now used as pesticides, disinfectants, cleaning solutions, and preservatives while continuing to be used as a hunting tool in remote parts of developing countries.

Wondering if what your garden is growing is poisonous?  Here is a list of the plants secured in the Poison Garden of Alnwick: the poison garden

A little too far from home?  Well here is a list of poison plants growing in Kern County, California.  The following plants have been identified as toxic for both dogs and cats.

So when Spring rolls around and you are inspired to visit your local plant nursery or big box garden center, do a little research first unless, of course, you are intending to grow a poison garden.





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