Friday, July 9, 2010

Foxglove and other plants that won’t make an appearance in my garden

I think Foxglove is one of those “love it or hate it” plants. I haven’t met anyone yet who was neutral about it. I’m on the “hate it” end of the spectrum. I think it’s partly because the flowers look like open mouths with speckled tongues, which is a little creepy.

And, if I needed another reason to exclude it from my garden, I got it last year when I attended a book event with Amy Stewart for her book “Wicked Plants – The weed that killed Lincoln’s mother & other botanical atrocities.” It was part of the long list of plants that are dangerous or deadly. (The botanical name for Foxglove is Digitalis.)

Datura – also in Amy’s book – is another plant that won’t make an appearance in Auntie K’s Garden. It’s also known by the names moonflower, Jimson weed (Jamestown weed), devil’s trumpet, and thorn apple.

I’m sad that Monkshood (Acontium napellus) leads off the book as a “deadly” plant, because it was one I was hoping to add to my garden this year. But, I just can’t bring myself to add something that might inadvertently injure someone and/or make them ill or kill them.

Poison gardens have gained popularity in recent years. Amy Stewart has one that was mentioned in a New York Times article last year. Most of them are fenced or gated – like the one at Alnwick, in England.

Am I being too cautious? How do you feel about having poisonous, hallucinogenic, or deadly plants in your garden?


rachel said...

Wow, I've never given any thought to poisonous plants. Of course, I've barely given thought to any plants! Hopefully that will change by reading your blog;)

Auntie K said...

Thanks, Rachel! And, don't worry. We won't plant anything dangerous in your garden so litle Estrid will be safe.

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