My Poisonous Garden

I used to think I was a bad-ass. I wasn’t really, but I had some good reasons to think so. I’d taught myself to breathe fire, I hitch hiked, I played rugby. At the time, my lower-impact hobbies seemed ironic. I cooked a lot, and loved to garden, I still do, but now that I’m not trying to catch a freight train out of my city, that great contrast is gone. Now I come home from work, sit on my porch and sip tea and maybe pull some weeds. I sing to my cat, who wanders in the yard behind me. It would be almost unbearable if I weren’t cultivating enough poison to kill my whole block.

The Bleeding Heart, a sweetly melancholy and old fashioned addition to my yard, causes convulsions and is toxic to cats and dogs.

The Opium Poppy, Papaver Somniferum, is actually illegal, but still available and used to make narcotic concoctions.

Foxglove is usually pink or blue, but that doesn’t match my color scheme for the side yard. It causes cardiac abnormalities and was once a plot point the X-File’s episode “Eve.”

Datura, also known as Jimson Weed was used to drug British soldiers in Jamestown, Virginia during Bacon’s Rebellion.

Pliny the Elder wrote about Hellebore. This one will look really nice next to my house, it’s a sort of fuzzy-chick yellow, I’m going to have the trim painted a mediterranean gold.

You’d actually have to eat a fair amount of this Larkspur to die, but it’s not out of the question.

And finally, Sweet Pea. All parts of this sweet-smelling flower are toxic, causing paralysis, weakness and tremors.

So yes, I garden and live like a little old lady, but it’s ok. Now I just live in a Faulkner novel, and argue about my clematis with ghosts.

Works cited:
Wicked Plants

and Wikipedia, which supplied this AWESOME photo:

This entry was posted in humor, killing, literature, science, southern gothic and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Poisonous Garden

  1. Pingback: Mundanity. « Tailey Po'

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