ISSUE 44  |  Miss Havisham

The Alnwick Garden in England: Pick Your Poison

November 02, 2012 6:30 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

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The Alnwick Garden was designed by Jacques and Peter Wirtz and lies in the rugged North of England. Part of the estate of Alnwick Castle (dubbed the "Versailles of the North" and featured in the first two Harry Potter movies), home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, the gardens feature more than 4,000 plant varieties. There's plenty to see, but hands down the most fascinating area to visit is the Poison Garden, which is packed with killer plants. Read on.

Above: The entrance to the gardens is kept firmly under lock and key except for tours. Visitors are not allowed to touch, smell, or pick any of the flowers (the most toxic blooms are kept in cages).

Above: A tunnel of ivy leading to the gardens. The Duchess of Northumberland conceived of the Poison Garden after visiting the world's oldest Botanical Gardens in Padua, which has numerous poisonous plants on display.

Above: A deadly floral installation.

Above: Bryonia Dioica. Many toxic plants are used for curative purposes, Bryonia Dioica was traditionally used as a laxative.

Above: Arum Italicum, a plant that has seductive orange berries.

Above: Cannabis Sativa. Possibly the only Duchess in the UK with a license to grow cocaine, marijuana, and magic mushrooms.

See our previous post on the Wirtz Family at Home in Belgium (designers of the Alnwick Garden).

N.B. Check out more than 125 Garden Visits.