poisonous garden

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The Poison Garden

Established in 2005 by the Duchess of Northumberland. The garden contains over 100 deadly and hallucinogenic plants. 

I wondered why so many gardens around the world focused on the healing power of plants rather than their ability to kill… I felt that most children I knew would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be.’

-The Duchess of Northumberland 

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Alnwick Poison Gardens. The gardens were established in 2005 by the Duchess of Northumberland who’s affinity for the apothecary gardens inspired the collection of nearly 100 deadly and hallucinogenic plants.

March is coming up soon, its time to share the Mogeko March Calendar! We would like to apologize again for the lateness of the calendar, however we do hope you enjoy!

  1. Obsolete Dream
  2. Ice Scream
  3. Poison Bugs
  4. Wadanohara and the Great Blue Sea
  5. The Gray Garden
  6. Mogeko Castle
  7. Favorite Character from an upcoming series
  8. Favorite Character Not From A Title
  9. Favorite Main Character
  10. Favorite Villain
  11. Favorite God
  12. Favorite Devil
  13. Favorite Angel
  14. Favorite Demon
  15. Favorite Witch
  16. Favorite Familiar
  17. Favorite Human character
  18. Favorite Couple
  19. Favorite OT3 (can be romantic or platinic)
  20. Favorite Brotp
  21. Favorite Family
  22. Favorite character in Monochrome
  23. Favorite Cool Design
  24. Favorite Cute Design
  25. Alternative Universe (Au)
  26. Scene Redraw
  27. Species Swap (Ex: Shark Wadanohara and Witch Samekichi)
  28. Color Palette Swap
  29. Clothing Swap
  30. Mogeko Series Cross Over
  31. All Time Favorite Character

If you have any other questions in regards to the calendar, please let us know!

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The Alnwick Poison Garden is a gated garden located inside The Alnwick Garden adjacent to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. This gated garden features a number of intoxicating and poisonous plants, such as nux vomica, the source of strychnine. This poison is often used to kill small mammals but has also been used by a number of murderers. The garden consists of approximately 100 deadly plants and has a number of warning signs to not touch or even small the plants, with the majority being caged.

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Herbalist Life

Reading a collection of short murder mystery stories.

One of them has a feigned accident where leaves of a poisonous plant that I’m personally unfamiliar with were supposed to be mistaken for sage leaves.

Put book down, go to shelf, pick up herbal, check the leaves to see if they could be mistaken for sage. Grudgingly allow that they did say the cook was an elderly woman and not too bright.

An Introduction to Growing Poisonous Plants

As a blog focused mostly on Witchcraft, I usually get asks and messages from people interested in that area of my knowledge. However I’m also a herbalist and a moderately keen gardener, and so I occasionally get people asking for that. In this instance, a user messaged me asking for advice on how to start growing plants, and she specified that she’s most interested in poisonous species. So here’s a post for you, and for all of the other beginner herbalists, Witches, gardeners or simply people who like poisonous things!


1) The key word is plants

All vascular plants, irrespective of their toxicity, habitat or traits, share between them traits that are common to all plants everywhere. These are mostly:

  1. They need sunlight.
  2. They need water.
  3. They need food.
  4. They need carbon dioxide and oxygen from the air
  5. They need to breed

The quantities of each, the proportion of each, and the types of each may vary wildly, but ALL plants need ALL five of them. Some plants have evolved some rather interesting mechanisms to obtain them, but if you don’t provide them with at least the first four (the last one is, in captivity, less important for most plants) they will not survive. Learn what requirements your chosen species require. Do they need dappled sun or full sun? Is tapwater acceptable or must they only be given rainwater? What foods do they need in their soil? Make sure you provide them!


2) Poisonous plants are poisonous!

I know, I know, it seems obvious but then again so did “don’t smoke in the fireworks factory” and some bright spark still went and did that. Remember that if you are specifically growing a species that is poisonous, it may well require specialist treatments to safely grow and tend. Oleander is a common ornamental species, but all parts of it are potentially very poisonous and so it should only be pruned wearing long sleeves and gloves. Foxgloves are beautiful biennials but they also contain the lethal poison digitalis, used as a heart medicine in very, VERY precise dosages, and so they must be kept away from fires of any kind. 

Research CAREFULLY what kind of poisons your plants produce and make very certain to familiarise yourself with:

  • Preventative methods to avoid exposure
  • Symptoms of accidental poisoning
  • Your local poisons hotline number
  • The first aid procedures for exposure
  • Methods to avoid pets or young children being exposed

Most poisonous plants are not lethal, but even non-lethal levels of poisoning can be potentially devastating to those with liver or kidney issues, or to young children or small animals. 


3) Practice on nontoxic plants first

Your first plants should never be any species that are potentially poisonous, purely because you’re unfamiliar with the care of potentially delicate plant species and you’re likely to make mistakes. Think of it like working in a chemistry lab - we don’t give beginners arsenic to work with in their first experiments, because we know they’re not aware of all the safety protocols and correct treatment of arsenic. Similarly, your first plants should never be belladonna or hemlock - instead, stick to plants that are well-known to be non-toxic. 

It may be a good idea to practice on plants related to your target species first, and then move on to more toxic examples later. For instance, instead of starting with belladonna, start out with tomatoes (a kind of nightshade), then move up to non-poisonous nightshades, and then try a more mildly toxic nightshade like woody nightshade, before finally planting deadly nightshade. Since many toxic plants are connected to the nightshade family, this is a good way to get used to that family before planting hensbane, deadly nightshade, and similar plants. 

Mandrakes (Mandragora officinalis) often grow in the same environments as wild beetroot and chicory, so these plants would be excellent starters although they’re not really related. 

Basically, look up plants that grow around your intended species, and practice on those before moving up to the more dangerous examples.


4) Prevent cross-pollination

All gardeners know the pain of growing two species together that are just a little TOO closely related, and ending up with weird hybrids all over the place. Plants are very big on “cross-pollination” - when one species pollinates a different species, causing the growth of an entirely new variety of plant. This is often beneficial: water-mint and spearmint hybridise to form the delicious but sterile peppermint, for example. However, with poisonous plants, cross-pollination could result in new varieties of poisonous plants being produced that could escape into the wild and become dangerous or invasive. So, manage cross-pollination!


5) Keep them away from bees

Many poisonous chemicals can be passed into honey through bees’ collection of nectar and pollen, or alternatively will simply kill bees who attempt to eat the nectar outright. For instance, the popular ornamental plant “Angel’s Trumpet” will cause brood-death in bees, and oleander poisons will concentrate in honey and potentially harm both bees and humans. However, not all plants are so dangerous - foxgloves are extremely toxic to humans, but bees adore them and the honey produced from foxgloves is pleasant and safe. As a general rule though, keep toxic plants away from anywhere with an interest in promoting bee health! 

Rhododendrons are apparently especially harmful to bees, and honey made from bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia, unrelated to true rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis) is very poisonous to humans who consume it, potentially causing paralysis, dizziness, nerve damage, diarrhoea and vomiting. Not fun!


6) Work out how you’re going to store the products

It’s always good to know how you’re going to keep your products safe and secure after production to prevent people getting them confused for more innocent substances. Also, remember that you should never burn poisonous plant matter!


I hope that helps you all!

– Juniper Wildwalk

Top 30 Classic Rock Songs

(In no particular order)

1. Starman by David Bowie

2. Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol

3. Heart of Glass by Blondie

4. Pride (in the name of love) by U2

5. Under Pressure by  Queen & David Bowie

6. Don’t you (Forget about me) by Simple Minds

7. Every Breath You Take by The Police

8. Money by Pink Floyd

9. Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones

10. Break On Through The Doors

11. More than a Feeling by Boston

12. Talk Dirty to Me by Poison

13. Roxanne by The Police

14. Lemon Tree by  Fool’s Garden

15. White Wedding by Billy Idol

16. Just like Heaven by The Cure

17. Hold the Line by Toto

18. Teenage Riot by The Ataris

19. This Charming Man by The Smiths

20. Maria by Blondie

21. Panama by Van Halen

22. Children of the Revolution by T. Rex

23. Island Girl by Elton John

24. What’s up by 4 Non Blondes

25. The Air that I Breathe by The Hollies

26. Dream on by Aerosmith

27. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

28. Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls

29. Carry on my Wayward Son by Kansas

30. Brain Damage by Pink Floyd

Common Poisonous House and Garden Plants and their Symptoms

If you have children or pets or suspect someone might have ingested or handled these plants improperly, this list is for you. Most of these plants seem entirely harmless and even more of them are used every day in gardens and as indoor decoration or in spellwork. Most all the symptoms I list are symptoms of ingestion unless otherwise noted. If something is incorrect, please feel free to message me and I will fix it shortly!

Peace Lily (Spathiphylum)

Peace lilies resemble Calla lilies and are fairly popular as gifts. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that can bring on skin irritation when handled, burning of the mouth, difficulty swallowing and nausea.


English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

The berries from English Ivy can cause gastrointestinal issues and delirium or respiratory problems. Sap from the leaves can cause skin irritation and sometimes blisters.


Philodendron

All parts of this plant contain calcium oxalate. Repeated contact can cause reactions similar to allergic reactions and ingestion can cause abdominal pain.


Ficus trees and Rubber Trees (Ficus Benjamina/Elastica)

Ficus trees produce a form of latex that can bring on allergic reactions in some people.


Larkspur and Delphinium (consolida ajacis)

Similar to our deadly friend Aconite (monkshood), this plant can bring about the same symptoms if ingested in a large enough quantity.


Lily of the Valley (Convalina mahalis)

Contains cardiac glycosides that can cause headache, nausea, and cardiac issues.


Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)

Contains toxic alkaloids that can cause nausea, seizures, and respiratory issues.


Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

All parts of sweet peas are mildly poisonous. New sprouts and shoots contain the most toxins, an amino acid called lathyrogen. Can cause paralysis, weakness and tremors.


Tulips

Produces a highly irritating sap. Touching the bulbs can cause a reaction as well as breathing dust from the bulbs. Ingestion can cause vomiting, breathing issues, and weakness.


Hyacinth (hyacinth orientalis)

Sap and bulbs, much like tulips, are major skin irritants.


Azaleas and Rhododendrons

A toxin called grannotoxin can be found in the leaves, flowers, nectar and pollen. Ingestion can cause heart problems, vomiting, dizziness, and extreme weakness


Black Locust (Robina Psudocacia)

All parts but the flowers are poisonous. Can cause weak pulse, upset stomach, headache, and cold extremities.


Colchicum

All parts are toxic. Causes burning, fever, vomiting and in extreme cases kidney failure.


Daphne

All parts are poisonus. Sap is a skin irritant and bright berries are deadly. Irritation of the throat, internal bleeding, weakness, and vomiting are all symptoms.


Foxglove (digitalis)

All parts can cause severe stomach upset, skin irritation, delirium, tremors, convulsion, headaches, and heart failure.


Hellebore/Christmas Rose

All parts are poisonous, and the sap is a skin irritant. Can cause bruning, vomiting, dizziness, nervous depression, and convulsions.


Hydrangea

Often used as a cake topper, Hydrangea actually contains levels of cyanide. Ingestion leads to vomiting, headache, and muscle weakness.


Lantana

Berries contain toxins that can cause visual problems, weakness, vomiting, heart problems and even death.


Lobelia

Contains a toxin known as Lobelamine that can cause heart problems, vomiting, tremors and paralysis.


Yellow Jessamine (Gelsimium semperviens)

All parts are toxic. Pollen and nectar are fatal to children.