The most dangerous garden in the world
Why do the gardens of the world only focus on the healing effect of plants instead of on the deadly properties? Jane Percy, the duchess of Northumberland, did not understand this. "Most children are more interested in how a plant kills," she quotes on the website, "they want to know the effects after one eats a poisonous plant.”
The Duchess of Northumberland must have been interested in these questions, otherwise she would not have ensured that the new gardens of Alnwick had its own poison section. More than 100 poisonous plants can be found here today. For example, the black Belladonna, whose poison attacks the nervous system - Even a small amount can lead to death. Or the Ricinus Communis, the plant from which the deadly castor oil is extracted, which can kill in a very cruel way: Nausea, Vomiting and Cramps are followed by the decomposition of the kidney, liver and spleen.
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You must be accompanied through the poison garden.
With so much killer-potential, it is no surprise that nobody can wander alone in the poisonous Garden, but only with a Guide in a group. This is not just for safety reasons, but also to experience the different levels of the poisonous plants, which mostly look rather harmless. In addition, the guide answers all the questions: How poisonous are the plants really? Who has already died from them? How long does the process take?
The history of the gardens themselves is also interesting. They were planted c.1750 - by the first Duke of Northumberland - and cultivated and appreciated over the centuries. The third duke, for example, was a passionate plant collector. He brought seeds and cuttings from all over the world and grew plants such as pineapples in the greenhouse. But during the Second World War, the beds and greenhouses were used for other things: for fruit, vegetables and herbs. After that the facilities fell into disrepair. In 1950 the gardens were closed.
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With a tree house and bamboo labyrinth
In the mid-1990s, the intention was to create parking spaces in the location of the early gardens. But the Duchess Jane Percy had other plans - and with the help of her husband, the Duke of Northumberland, as well as numerous donations and an army of volunteers, the new gardens of Alnwick were created, the most successful garden project in the United Kingdom since the Second World War. In total the attracted costed 42 million pounds.