The Alnwick Poison Garden
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
The Alnwick Poison Garden boasts some of the world’s most dangerous plants, hence the name. Behind big black gates, the carefully curated garden contains about 100 varieties illegal narcotics including poppies, which are used to make opium, the poisonous Atropa belladonna (also known as deadly nightshade), Strychnos nux-vomica (used to make strychnine), Coca (from which cocaine is produced), hemlock (used to kill Socrates), cannabis and more.
The current Duchess of Northumberland decided to revamp the gardens when she became mistress of Alnwick Castle. The project began around 2000, but she did not begin the Poison Garden until five years later. Inspired by the garden near Padua, Italy which was once used by the Medici’s to find better ways to kill their enemies, the Duchess decided to build a garden that was filled with narcotic, poisonous and deadly plants. The initial design included some medicinal plants, but she had them removed to maintain the concept of the Poison Garden.