Here at Hobby Farms, we promote all the plants fit for your plate—from the traditional tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and basil to more exotic fare, like kumquats, pawpaws, kohlrabi and dandelion root. However, there’s a whole wide world of gardening out there that you should definitely not sink your teeth into, and these plants are showcased in the Poison Garden in Northumberland, UK’s, Alnwick Garden. Here, instead of a chef’s delight, you’ll find plants like foxglove, datura, giant hogweed—all which have the potential to kill.
The Poison Garden is the brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland, who wanted something more interesting than the herbs typically seen in English gardens. Established in 2005, it’s located inside the walled garden of the Old Castle in Northumberland and contains nearly 100 poisonous species. Garden visitors won’t mistake what they’re looking at—the garden gates are made of black metal with skull and crossbones prominently displayed.
Caring for poisonous plant life isn’t always easy. Just ask Trevor Jones, the head honcho at the Alnwick Garden.
“We have tend the plants, and when we do that we have to be careful how we operate,” he says in a video on Great Big Story. “We to cover some of our skin when we deal with particularly dangerous plants.”
Some of the plants inside poisonous to the touch, causing phototoxicity or rashes, while others will kill you if even the tiniest portion is eaten—though you may be surprised to learn that you have some of these plants growing in your own ornamental garden. Does columbine or lily of the valley sound familiar?
For a complete list of all the poisonous plants grown in the Poison Garden, visit the garden’s website. Here parents can also find a guide on keeping their children safe from deadly plants.