The Poison Garden

The world’s deadliest garden is a tourist hotspot. Situated in a small part of The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland it makes up in its deadly potency what it lacks in size. Visitors are allowed only with a guide. Tucked away behind huge black iron gates and under lock and key lies some of the deadliest species of plants known to mankind. A warning on the Alnwick Garden website states: “Visitors are strictly prohibited from smelling, touching, or tasting any plants, although some people still occasionally faint from inhaling toxic fumes while walking in the garden.

This poison garden houses almost 100 varieties of killer plants and visitors are strictly advised not to smell, touch or eat the flowers. The garden is home to around 100 ‘toxic, intoxicating, and narcotic’ plants. There are plants like Datura that can put you to sleep, forever, Aconitine, that can kill you, Atropa Belladona, with its four berries can kill a child etc.

The garden is set in the old walled garden of the former castle at the site.  It was originally planted by the Duchess of Northumberland. When Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland inherited Alnwick Castle in 1995 it was her husband who asked her to do something about the gardens. Percy took the help of a landscape architect to renovate the garden which encompasses 14 acres and attracts over 6 lakh people annually.

The poison as a more interesting alternative to a traditional herb garden. The garden was opened to the public in 2005. Alnwick Garden is open from September 7 to November 15 from 10am to 4pm daily.

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