The Poison Garden

In the town of Alnwick, Northumberland, England, there’s a complex of formal gardens, including the Poison Garden, which features poisonous plants. The garden was the idea of the Duchess of Northumberland, who wanted the garden to have something that was different from other gardens. The mission of the Poison Garden also includes drug education, with featured plantings of cannabis, coca and the opium poppy. The Duchess is said to have believed that people 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 boundaries of the Poison Garden are kept behind black iron gates, only open on guided tours. 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.